Once known as JAM Software, Naughty Dog is an American video game development company based in California. It was founded in 1984 by Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin, and was purchased by Sony in 2001. Together, Rubin and Gavin developed games that became more successful with each new release. Some of their most notable games include Way of the Warrior, released in the beginning of the 90’s and earned the small company a deal with Interactive Studios.
At the suggestion of Mark Cerny, a well known American video game developer at the time, Naughty Dog began working on a platform game that would take advantage of the new 3d capabilities that the system were starting to ship with. Naughty Dog took this advice and created Crash Bandicoot. After Naughty Dog released Crash Team Racing, the company began development for the Playstation 2 game, Jak and Daxter. Rubin had found himself the president of Naughty Dog, although in 2004 he left to pursue a project called “Iron and the Maiden”. At first, the company had been only working on a single game at any time, and only working on one series for one system. They seem to have begun shifting to a slightly more diverse development schedule lately.
Gavin and Rubin’s Naughty Dog video game development company truly began in high school, before they ever made any games. While learning to develop software in C++ and Lisp, the two banded together to create video games for Apple II computers. One of these games was a skiing game called Ski Crazed, which was purchased by Baudville for $250.
Gavin and Rubin also created an adventure game named Dream Zone, released in 1988 and then ported to Amiga, PC and Atari ST. Electronic Arts published Gavin and Rubin’s “Keef the Thief” for the Apple IIGS. They also developed games for the Sega Genesis, as well. In 1994, the Multiplayer game Way of the Warrior found its way from Gavin and Rubin’s minds to the 3DO, leading to a deal with Universal Interactive Studios. The game’s development began in 1994, and Naughty Dog hired additional developers and created Goal Oriented Object LISP to make the development process easier.
In 2007, Naughty Dog started development on Uncharted, the company’s debut into creating games with environments and characters that were more realistic, rather than cartoony. The Uncharted franchise has done wonderfully, and has become a top selling game, selling more than 17 million copies world wide.
Final Thoughts on Naughty Dog
Naughty Dog has been around for a long time, since the glory days of independent video game development. They have grown with the times, as any successful company should hope to do. They have sold millions of copies of their games and created loveable characters like Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter. Their games have been released on all of the major consoles and the ingenuity shown by the company has helped them to provide some of the best gameplay experiences known to the video game industry.