Crash Bandicoot is a franchise of platform video games. The series was created by Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin during their tenure at Naughty Dog for Universal Interactive Studios and Sony Computer Entertainment; the series was originally exclusive to the PlayStation family of video game consoles. The series has appeared on multiple platforms and gone through various developers and spans numerous genres. The series comprises eighteen games and shipped over 50 million copies worldwide.
The games are mostly set on the fictitious Wumpa Islands, an archipelago situated to the south of Australia where humans and anthropomorphic animals co-exist, although other locations are common. The main games in the series are largely platformers, but several are spin-offs in different genres. The protagonist of the series is an anthropomorphic bandicoot named Crash, whose quiet life on the Wumpa Islands is often interrupted by the games’ main antagonist, Doctor Neo Cortex, who created Crash and wants him dead. In most games, Crash must defeat Cortex and foil his plans for world domination.
After presenting Way of the Warrior to Mark Cerny of Universal Interactive Studios, Naughty Dog was signed on to the company for three additional games. In August 1994, Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin began their move from Boston, Massachusetts to Los Angeles, California. During the trip, Gavin and Rubin decided to create a 3D action-platform game, taking inspiration from the 16-bit era’s best, including Donkey Kong Country, Mario and Sonic. Because the player would be forced to constantly look at the character’s rear, the game was jokingly code-named “Sonic’s Ass Game”. The basic technology for the game and the Crash Bandicoot series as a whole was created somewhere near Gary, Indiana. The rough game theory was designed by Colorado and David Siller, the creator of Aero the Acro-Bat and Maximo: Ghosts to Glory. Soon afterward, Gavin and Rubin threw out their previous game design for Al O. Saurus and Dinestein, a side-scrolling video game based on time travel and scientists genetically merged with dinosaurs. After moving into the Universal Interactive Studios backlot, Gavin and Rubin met with Mark Cerny, discussed the design of the game and made an agreement to go into production. In September 1994, Gavin and Rubin decided to develop their new game for the PlayStation, after which Rubin began character design. In November 1994, Naughty Dog hired Dave Baggett, their first employee and a friend of Gavin’s from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Together, Gavin and Baggett created the development tool “Game Oriented Object LISP” (GOOL), which would be used to create the characters and gameplay of the game. In January 1995, Rubin became concerned about the programmer-to-artist ratio and hired Bob Rafei and Taylor Kurosaki as additional artists.