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History of Naughty Dog 1984 to 2018



Naughty Dog was co-founded by Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin on September 27 1984 and have been around for donkeys years I am going to be detailing every single game Naughty Dog has ever made from the early games to Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, Uncharted and The Last of Us. This is also my first blog post on this site as well so let's jump right in.

The Early Days

Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin released there first game in 1985 for Apple ll and was published independently by them as JAM Software which stood for Jason and Andys Magic and this game was called Math Jam and was aimed to be an educational game.

Ski Crazed was released in 1986 as a sports game and Jason and Andy published game through Baudville for Apple ll.

Dream Zone was released in 1987 and was an adventure game once again published by Baudville and was released on Amiga, Apple llGS, Atari ST and DOS. This game was the final game published by Baudville as Jason and Andy no longer wanted to publish with that company anymore.

Keef the Thief was released in 1989 as a sword and socery role playing game and Jason and Andy renamed company from JAM Software as the name was already taken to Naughty Dog and made a deal with Electronic Arts. The game was released on Amiga, Apple llGS and DOS.

Rings of Power was released in 1991 and was originally intended for DOS and Amiga until Electronic Arts wanted Naughty Dog to make the game for Sega Genesis this was the last major game Jason and Andy would make and decided to quit video game industry as the game was poorly received but despite this the games sales helped fund Naughty Dog to make a comeback. This was Naughty Dogs first ever console game and also the last game they did with Electronic Arts.

After taking a break Jason and Andy got back together and released Way of the Warrior on August 30th 1994 for 3DO and Naughty Dog made a deal with Universal Interactive Studios who published the game. Naughty Dog self-funded Way of the Warrior from the money from Rings of Power and production of Way of the Warrior began in 1993 and lasted 12 months Naughty Dog went bankrupt and had no money to finish the game but they managed to finish the game and showed it to Mark Cerny who agreed that Universal could publish the game and signed Naughty Dog onto a three game deal. This was also Naughty Dogs last garage game.

Crash Bandicoot Era 1996 to 1999. 

Naughty Dog was given a three game deal by Universal Interacive Studios and began work on what would become one of the greatest games of all time Crash Bandicoot. Jason and Andy moved Naughty Dog onto Universals backlot in August 1994 and began work on the game with Mark Cerny and Naughty Dog wanted to make the game either for Atari Jagaur, Sega 32 X and Sega Saturn but the consoles had poor sales and clunky development kits and settled on Sonys PlayStation as there was no mascot for the system and they wanted to create a mascot for that console. Naughty Dog began work on Crash Bandicoot hired it's first employees and David Siller who worked at Universal was producer for the game and did all the level design for the game and Charles Zembillas and Joe Pearson were hired to draw all of the characters and in the end it was Jason Rubin, Andy Gavin, David Siller, Charles Zembillas and Joe Pearson who gave life to Crash Bandicoot and gave us a character we all know and love today and the game also put Naughty Dog on the map but at the same time Sony Computer Entertainment were anware of the game until March 1996 when Naughty Dog sent a preview tape to them though the tape was sent to them in September 1995 and Sony did not see it until March 1996 and agreed to publish the game and by this time Crash Bandicoot was already at alpha stage. Dave Siller had Mark Mothersbaugh brought in to compose the music but Mark selected Josh Mancell to compose the music and Mancell would go on to score for all four Crash games. Sony wanted Crash Bandicoot to be shown against Mario at Electronic Enterainment Expo and Sony booted Twisted Metal and had Crash placed right next to Mario at E3 in May 1996 and the game met with postive response. Crash Bandicoot was finally released on September 9th 1996 and the game was well recieved and the game sold 6 million units and is the eighth best selling PlayStation game of all time and also outsold Super Mario 64. Unfortunatly co-creator of Crash Bandicoot Dave Siller and producer of original game left Universal and went to Capcom and would not work on Crash 2 and 3 but his ideas were reused for those later games.

With the success of Crash Bandicoot Naughty Dog began work on a sequel Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and development began in October 1996. With Dave Siller having left Mark Cerny stepped in and designed most of the levels in the game and Naughty Dog reused Dave Sillers ideas for the game. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes was shown at E3 in June 1997 and was met with a postive response and the game went into Alpha stage in August 1997 and was finally released on October 31st 1997 and was met with critical acclaim. This game is also considered by some to be better than Super Mario 64.

Naughty Dog began work on Crash Bandicoot Warped in January 1998 and Naughty Dog moved the game away from the tropical island setting which was inspired by Donkey Kong Country and Looney Tunes and focused having the game be set around the world and also had time travel thrown in as well. Evan Wells joined Naughty Dog at this time as well and designed most of the levels for the game and Charles Zembillas who was character designer and art director for last two Crash games worked on this game as well. Crash Bandicoot Warped was released on October 31st 1998 and was praised by critics and game sold six million units and it became thirteenth best selling PlayStation game of all time.

Naughty Dog and Universals three game deal had come to an end and by this time Naughty Dog and Universals relationship was breaking down to the point where Naughty Dog did not want to be assicoated with them anymore and no longer wanted to deal with Universal and Mark Cerny who was Vice President at Universal resigned and founded his own gaming studio and joined Naughty Dog and worked with them directly. Crash Team Racings development began at the same as Crash Bandicoot Warped was being made and the game started with block headed characters as the game itself was not intended to be a Crash game Naughty Dog showed the game to Sony and wanted the game to be Crash themed and Sony agreed and made a deal with Universal who owned the rights to Crash Bandicoot and the game could of had original characters if the deal did not go through. Charles Zembillas and Joe Pearson once again designed all of the characters for the game and Jason Rubin wanted an otherworldy character brought into Crash Bandicoot which was Nitros Oxide though Oxide started off as a mad scientist obsessed with speed and who wanted to speed up the entire world until the end of time but Naughty Dog had overused human, animal and machine combinations from previous Crash games and Oxide became an otherworldy character. Since this was the last Crash game Naughty Dog was making they intended to kill Crash off though this did not work out as they had intended it was also not known if a making a kart racing game was even possible on PlayStation due to the consoles limitaitons Naughty Dog bulit a replica of Crescent Island from Diddy Kong Racing to test to see if PlayStation could handle the scope and size of track on PlayStation. Naughty Dog however succeeded despite PlayStations memory limitations and Crash Team Racing was released on September 30th 1999 and was Naughty Dogs final Crash game they decided to move on from series and sever all ties with Universal as they became the middle man and Naughty Dog would relocate from Univerals backlot and Sony would soon reveal PlayStation 2 and Naughty Dog viewing PlayStation 2 as a supercomputer decided to take advantage of that hardware and create a brand new IP.

Jak and Daxter Era 2001 to 2005. 

Naughty Dog could no longer make Crash Bandicoot games anymore as Universal Interactive Studios owned IP and Naughty Dog decided to move on and create a new IP for PlayStation 2 and development for Jak and Daxter began in Janaury 1999 as Project Y the rest of Naughty Dog were making Crash Team Racing while just two people were working on this game the rest of Naughty Dog soon joined in to work on new game and Sony soon released PlayStation 2 in 2000. Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin fearing they could not repeat success of Crash Bandicoot and also knowing Naughty Dog has a good relationship with Sony decided to sell Naughty Dog to Sony Computer Entertainment in 2001 turning Naughty Dog into a first party studio and now having been acquired by Sony it gave Naughty Dog more resources to make games and Naughty Dog felt they had to create a unique character for PS2. Jak and Daxter was in development for three years with numerous changes there was to be no loading times and it was to be an open world free roaming game unlike Crash Bandicoot which was stuck to hallway and corridors and Charles Zembillas was brought back and did original concept art for Jak and Daxter characters and Josh Mancell was also brought back to compose the music and would do for all three games. The game was annouced at E3 2001 and Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy was released on December 3rd 2001 and Naughty Dog was not sure if they should make a sequel but the game sold well and was recieved well by critics and sold 1 million copies worldwide. Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin had a three game contract with Sony set out telling them they eventually would want to leave Naughty Dog at some point.


With the success of The Precursor Legacy Naughty Dog began work on Jak ll with development beginning in 2001 and the game industry was also changing at this time and Naughty Dog was well aware of this with the previous game being cartoonish and Grand Theft Auto lll on the horizon Naughty Dog decided to make this game more darker and gritty it was something Naughty Dog had to do as action platformers were falling out of favour and more people were interested in more mature games like Grand Theft Auto lll this caused Naughty Dog to almost give up making Jak and Daxter but Sony encouraged Naughty Dog to carry on and they made Jak and Daxter more mature and it was also at this time Christophe Balestra joined Naughty Dog. Jak ll was released on October 14th 2003 and recieved critical acclaim and is considered one of the best PlayStation 2 games at the time and sold 2.01 million copies.

Naughty Dog began work on Jak 3 not to long aftermaking Jak ll and continued the tone and theme from previous game and also expanded upon the themes from previous Jak and Daxter games and Naughty Dog drew inspiration from Smugglers Run with Jason Rubin having played the game and wanted bring more driving into the game with buggies and driving through a desert and Neil Druckmann and Amy Henig joined Naughty Dog at this time. Jak 3 was released on November 9th 2004 and the game was once again met with praise and sold over 1.85 million copies and this goes to show that Naughty Dog always make a good game and never fail there fans and Naughty Dog took advantage of PS2 to create Jak and Daxter they were able to first time create a storyline for there games as they were unable to with Crash Bandicoot on PS1 due to deadlines and time constriants and consoles limitations. Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin the co-founders of Naughty Dog and the guys who had run the company for so long and spearheaded Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter franchises departed Naughty Dog in 2004 after Jak 3 which was there last game they worked on and transitioned Naughty Dog over to Evan Wells and Stephen White they knew they could finally leave Naughty Dog as the company was in good hands and plus there contract was over.

For first time in Naughty Dog history Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin were no longer running company and this was also the first game they did not work on and Evan Wells and Stephen White were now running Naughty Dog. Jak X Combat Racing started development after Jak 3 was released and expanded upon vehicle aspects of the buggies from Jak 3 and during games development Jak X would become Naughty Dogs first online game and the game was designed around transition of the company and also gave Naughty Dog some breathing room because PlayStation 3 was looming around the corner. Jak X Combat Racing was released on October 18th 2005 and was the last Jak and Daxter game Naughty Dog would make and Jak X Combat Racing was recieved well but Jak and Daxter franchise had by now run it's course and knowing Sony would soon reveal PlayStation 3 and with that new hardware just around corner Naughty Dog knew it was once again time to move on and create a new IP for that hardware.

The Uncharted Era 2007 to 2017.

After completing Jak 3 and Jak X Combat Racing Naughty Dog was ready to move on from Jak and Daxter franchise and create a brand new IP for upcoming PlayStation 3. Naughty Dog got together there most technically talented staff members and development began on Uncharted Drakes Fortune which was nicknamed Project Big the game was however already being developed for about two years with a small team of people working on the game and Naughty Dog did have the chance to create a Jak and Daxter game for PS3 but due to PS3 being new hardware Naughty Dog like they always are decided to create a new IP which was fresh and have human realistic characters and performance capture capturing actors movements instead of animating characters all of the time. Jak and Daxter had stylized characters due to PS2s limitations and Uncharted would take advantage of PS3 and would have characters which stylized realism the game was finally shown at E3 2006 and released on November 19th 2007 the game went on to sell 2.6 million copies. Stephen White left Naughty Dog in 2006 and was replaced by Christophe Balestra.

Naughty Dog began work on Uncharted 2 Among Theives soon after previous game was released and was in development for two years. Uncharted 2 Among Theives was released on October 13th 2009 and recieved universal acclaim and sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

Naughty Dog had another sequel on the way and that was Uncharted 3 Drakes Deception which was released on November 1st 2011 and sold 3.8 million copies worldwide and was instant success but this was Amy Hennigs last Uncharted game though she left Naughty Dog in March 2014. 

It took Naughty Dog five years to release and develop the next Uncharted game which was Uncharted 4 A Thiefs End and it sold 2.7 million copies worldwide and became fast selling entry in series and best selling PlayStation 4 game of all time the game was released on May 10th 2016. Naughty Dog had by now moved on from PS3 onto PS4 which was even more powerful hardware Naughty Dog could take advantage of and by now Naughty Dog had finally reached there goal in game industry making realistic games with proper storytelling these games were now like motion picture films seen from cinema.

Naughty Dog started working on The Lost Legacy once Uncharted 4 A Thiefs End was released they considered making an Uncharted 5 but Naughty Dog was beginning to undertsand they need to explore narrative ideas more and build upon gameplay elements and also more open ended gameplay. Uncharted The Lost Legacy was released on August 22nd 2017 and sold 23, 131 copies worldwide and was well received and by now Naughty Dog knew Uncharted franchise itself had come to an end. Christophe Balestra left Naughty Dog on April 3rd 2017.

The Last of Us Era 2013 present 

Naughty Dog began development on The Last of Us in 2009 after Uncharted 2 Among Theives was completed and for first time in Naughty Dogs history the company split into two teams one half developed Uncharted 3 Drakes Deception and the other half worked on The Last of Us. The game was inspired by Planet Earth documentary from BBC on which had Cordyceps fungi in it the fungi infects insects taking control of them and forcing them to cultivate the fungus but the game has fungus evolve and infect humans causing an outbreak amongst humanity. The Last of Us was released on June 14th 2013 and recieved critical acclaim and sold over 1.3 million units.

With the release of The Last of Us Naughty Dog began work on The Last of Us Left Behind in June 2013 with a team half the size Naughty Dog decided to expand upon storyline and knowing The Last of Us was highly was acclaimed by reviewers and had a great success Naughty Dog knew The Last of Us Left Behind was highly anticipated. The Last of Us Left Behind was released on February 14th 2014 as a downloadable expansion pack for The Last of Us.

The Last of Us Part ll has been in development since 2014 by Naughty Dog and is there upcoming game with an unreleased date.

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About Crash4563one of us since 5:03 PM on 08.17.2018