Naughty Dog

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Naughty Dog, Inc.
TypeSubsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment
IndustryComputer and video games
Interactive entertainment
Founded1986 (as Jam Software)
1989 (as Naughty Dog)
Founder(s)Andy Gavin
Jason Rubin
HeadquartersSanta Monica, California, United States
Key peopleEvan Wells, co-president
Christophe Balestra, co-president
Amy Hennig, creative director
Bruce Straley, game director
Justin Richmond, co-lead game designer
Keith Guerrette, lead effects artist
David Smith, tools programmer
ProductsThe Last of Us (2013)
Uncharted series (2007–Present)
Jak and Daxter series (2001-present)
Crash Bandicoot series (1996–1999)
Owner(s)Sony Corporation
Employees+240[1]
ParentIndependent (1986–2001)
Sony Computer Entertainment (2001–2005)
SCE Worldwide Studios (2006-present)
WebsiteOfficial website
 
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Naughty Dog, Inc.
TypeSubsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment
IndustryComputer and video games
Interactive entertainment
Founded1986 (as Jam Software)
1989 (as Naughty Dog)
Founder(s)Andy Gavin
Jason Rubin
HeadquartersSanta Monica, California, United States
Key peopleEvan Wells, co-president
Christophe Balestra, co-president
Amy Hennig, creative director
Bruce Straley, game director
Justin Richmond, co-lead game designer
Keith Guerrette, lead effects artist
David Smith, tools programmer
ProductsThe Last of Us (2013)
Uncharted series (2007–Present)
Jak and Daxter series (2001-present)
Crash Bandicoot series (1996–1999)
Owner(s)Sony Corporation
Employees+240[1]
ParentIndependent (1986–2001)
Sony Computer Entertainment (2001–2005)
SCE Worldwide Studios (2006-present)
WebsiteOfficial website

Naughty Dog, Inc. (known as Jam Software before renaming in 1989) is an American video game developer based in Santa Monica, California.[2] Founded by Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin in 1986 as an independent developer, the studio was acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2001. Gavin and Rubin produced a sequence of progressively more successful games, including Rings of Power for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and Way of the Warrior for the 3DO. The latter — a very low-budget but still plausible offering — prompted Universal Interactive Studios to sign the duo to a three-title deal and fund the expansion of the company.

Mark Cerny, who was a programmer for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for Sega, convinced Naughty Dog to focus its new resources on creating a character-based platform game that would fully exploit the 3D capabilities of the new systems. Ultimately, this led to the release of Crash Bandicoot for the PlayStation on August 31, 1996. Naughty Dog developed three Crash Bandicoot sequels over the next several years. In January 2001, it was announced Sony would acquire Naughty Dog. After developing Crash Team Racing, the company began working on Jak and Daxter for PlayStation 2.

In 2004, Naughty Dog's studio president and co-founder, Jason Rubin, left the company[3] to work on a new project named Iron and the Maiden.[4] In addition to their inhouse game team, Naughty Dog is also home to the ICE Team, one of Sony's World Wide Studios central technology groups.[5] The company's first PlayStation 3 title, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, was released in 2007, its sequel, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, in 2009, and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, released in November 2011. Naughty Dog is also infamous for having a history of not only developing one game at a time, but only one franchise per console; a trend that has garnered heavy amounts of criticism amongst fans.[6] This lasted until Naughty Dog announced a new IP called The Last of Us at the Spike Video Game Awards on December 10, 2011 on the PlayStation 3, which was in development by a second team at the studio.

On November 21, 2011, it was announced on Sony's PlayStation Blog that the Jak and Daxter series would be re-released on PlayStation 3 as part of an HD collection.[7] Released on February 7, 2012, the collection was handled by Mass Media Inc., and brought "720p high definition with crisper visuals, smoother gameplay animation, full stereoscopic 3D to the series", along with support for the PlayStation trophy system.

Contents

Company overview[edit]

High school students, Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin, having experimented with Lisp and C++, teamed up to create video games and founded "Jam Software" in 1986. Rubin and Gavin chose to only create software for the Apple II and decided to create a skiing game for their second title. During production of the game, Gavin accidentally copied bootleg games over the only copy of the skiing game they had. Rubin then created a new skiing game called Ski Crazed (originally titled Ski Stud) within the weekend. Because the game played slowly, Gavin reprogrammed the game to play quicker. The game was later picked up and published by Baudville, who bought the game from Jam Software for $250. Rubin and Gavin then created an Apple IIGS graphic adventure game titled Dream Zone, which was released in 1988 and ported to the Atari ST, Amiga and personal computer.[8]

The original logo used for Naughty Dog.

In 1989, Rubin and Gavin released another game titled Keef the Thief, which was published by Electronic Arts for the Apple IIGS, Amiga and personal computer. To make a fresh start and to dissolve their relationship with Baudville, Rubin and Gavin renamed Jam Software as Naughty Dog. In the early 90's, Naughty Dog created Rings of Power, which was published by Electronic Arts for the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1991. By that time, Rubin and Gavin were in college and Naughty Dog was bankrupt.

Rubin and Gavin (along with friends) then produced the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer title Way of the Warrior and presented it to Mark Cerny of Universal Interactive Studios (later Vivendi Games, now defunct). Cerny was pleased with Way of the Warrior and signed Naughty Dog on to Universal Interactive Studios for three additional games. Rubin and Gavin devised a plan to create a three-dimensional action-platform game. Because the player would be forced to constantly look at the character's rear, the game was jokingly codenamed "Sonic's Ass Game".

Production of the game began in 1994, during which Naughty Dog expanded its number of employees and invented a development tool called "Goal Oriented Object LISP", to create the characters and gameplay. Cartoonists Charles Zembillas and Joe Pearson were recruited to create the characters of the game, which resulted in the titular character Crash Bandicoot. After 14 months of development, the game was shown to Sony Computer Entertainment, who then signed on to publish the game. Crash Bandicoot was shown to the public for the first time at E3 and went on to become one of the highest-selling titles for the PlayStation console, selling over 6.8 million copies to date.[8]

Since 2007, Naughty Dog has worked on the Uncharted series, and thus made their first official approach to realistic worlds and characters, in contrast to their Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter series, which featured fantastical worlds set in a completely fictional setting. The Uncharted franchise has been universally praised for its cinematic quality and technical proficiency, and has sold nearly 17 million copies worldwide as of April 2012.[9]

During the 2011 Spike TV Video Game Awards, Naughty Dog unveiled a new intellectual property, The Last of Us, described as a "post-apocalyptic third-person action-adventure game", following the plight of a teenage girl, Ellie, and her adult protector, Joel, in a post-apocalyptic United States overrun with humans infected with a disease reminiscent of the infection caused by Cordyceps unilateralis. The Last of Us received universal acclaim.[10]

List of games[edit]

As Jam Software

Game titleYear releasedPlatformNotes
Math Jam1985Apple II
Ski Crazed1986
Dream Zone1988Apple IIGS

As Naughty Dog

Game titleYear releasedPlatformGameRankingsMetacriticNotes
Keef the Thief1989Apple IIGSN/AN/AFirst game developed by Naughty Dog
Rings of Power1991Sega Genesis40.00%[11]N/APublished by Electronic Arts
Way of the Warrior19943DON/AN/A1994 3DO Developers Award: Winner for Best Animation
Crash Bandicoot1996PlayStation80.40%[12]N/AWas the first non-Japanese game to receive a "Gold Prize" in Japan
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back199788.54%[13]N/AOne of the best-selling PSone video games of all time
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped199889.07%[14]91/100[15]Was the first non-Japanese title to receive a "Platinum Prize" in Japan
Crash Team Racing199991.78%[16]88/100[17]Last Crash Bandicoot game developed by Naughty Dog
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy2001PlayStation 290.22%[18]90/100[19]First game released after being acquired by Sony
Jak II200387.90%[20]87/100[21]Won IGN Editor's Choice 2003
Jak 3200485.42%[22]84/100[23]The game as #25 on their list of best PlayStation 2 games of all time
Jak X: Combat Racing200576.96%[24]76/100[25]Last Jak and Daxter game developed by Naughty Dog
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune2007PlayStation 389.67%[26]88/100[27]Won IGN's Best Action Game and Best PS3 game
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves200996.38%[28]96/100[29]Won multiple Game of the Year Awards
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception201191.78%[30]92/100[31]
Jak and Daxter Collection201281.56%[32]82/100[33]Collaborated development with Mass Media Inc.
The Last of Us201395.19%[34]96/100[35]

Partnerships with other developers[edit]

Insomniac[edit]

Since working together in the same building on the Universal Interactive Studios backlot, Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games have had a close relationship. Producer Mark Cerny has worked extensively with both companies. They have made similar types of games. For example, in the late 1990s, Naughty Dog's Crash Bandicoot series and Insomniac's Spyro the Dragon series both competed on the PlayStation as character-heavy platforming games with imaginative environments. With the release of the PlayStation 2, the two series were left in Universal's hands, and both developers continued in friendly competition after the creation of their new flagship franchises (Jak and Daxter and Ratchet & Clank, respectively).

With the release of the PlayStation 3, both developers changed focus, with Naughty Dog's action-adventure series Uncharted and Insomniac's science fiction first-person shooter series Resistance, although Insomniac continued to work on the Ratchet and Clank series. Also, they are personal journeys against zombie-like creatures and armed humans/aliens. Both Naughty Dog and Insomniac have stated that they don't have plans for making a game together, even though, holding the publishing rights to both the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon characters, there have been a pair of crossover games released between the two, while Sony released PlayStation Move Heroes and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, both PlayStation 3 games which featured characters created by both Naughty Dog and Insomniac in the same game as well as characters created by Sucker Punch.

Irrational Games[edit]

Nate Wells, who formerly served as lead art director on Irrational Games' BioShock Infinite, announced in Aug 13th 2012 that he, along with several other Irrational members, were leaving the company due to internal conflicts; Nate revealed that he would begin working on the studio's upcoming survival-horror title The Last of Us.

Sucker Punch[edit]

Naughty Dog also keeps some sort of relationship with Sucker Punch Productions due to Sucker Punch being owned by Sony. Sucker Punch is known for its Sly Cooper franchise and now for the PlayStation 3 exclusive series Infamous, and the new game for PlayStation 4, called Infamous: Second Son.

Ready at Dawn[edit]

Didier Malenfant, a former developer of Naughty Dog, left the company in 2003 to form a new development company, Ready at Dawn, with former members of Naughty Dog and Blizzard Entertainment.[36] Also, Ready at Dawn developed Daxter which was produced by Naughty Dog; this is a midquel to Naughty Dog's Jak and Daxter series.

High Impact Games[edit]

Naughty Dog shared its library of assets to High Impact Games in order to develop Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier. Naughty Dog worked closely with High Impact Games for the development of the PSP games.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Time Line." Naughty Dog. June 4, 2004. Retrieved on May 5, 2010.
  3. ^ Jason Rubin set to exit Naughty Dog
  4. ^ http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3148865&did=1
  5. ^ http://mail.python.org/pipermail/c++-sig/2007-October/012954.html
  6. ^ Leack, Jonathan. "Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter to Be Left Behind Says Naughty Dog". Playstation LifeStyle. Retrieved 08/04/2011. 
  7. ^ http://blog.us.playstation.com/2011/11/21/jak-and-daxter-collection-coming-to-ps3-with-hd-3d-trophies/
  8. ^ a b "From Rags to Riches: Way of the Warrior to Crash 3". Game Informer 66 (October 1998): 18–19. 1998. 
  9. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew. "Sony Has Sold 13 Million Copies of Uncharted Series". IGN. 
  10. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-3/the-last-of-us
  11. ^ "Rings of Power Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Crash Bandicoot Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Crash Team Racing Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Crash Team Racing Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Jak II Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Jak II Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Jak 3 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Jak 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Jak X: Combat Racing Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Jak X: Combat Racing Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Jak and Daxter Collection Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Jak and Daxter Collection Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  34. ^ "The Last of Us for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  35. ^ "The Last of Us for PlayStation 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  36. ^ http://www.readyatdawn.com/company_history.html

External links[edit]