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Rubin Discusses Crash Bandicoot’s Origins, Wanted to Provide Sony With a Mascot

June 26, 2012 Written by Alex Osborn

Jason Rubin, former Naughty Dog head and current president of THQ recently discussed the origins of Crash Bandicoot and the beginnings of the Naughty Dog legacy, pointing out that it all essentially stemmed from the desire to provide Sony with a compelling mascot.

In an interview with GI International, Rubin explained:

I made the audacious decision that because Nintendo and Sega already had mascots, we would make our game for the Sony PlayStation. Sony was new to video games, and therefore, they had no legacy characters. We were in Utah after two days of solid discussion when we made the decision.

Two 24-year-olds, who had never made a successful game, with all of their worldly possessions in the back of their car, were going to drive to Los Angeles, hire their first employees, figure out what made a great action game, work on their first 3D title ever, and create a compelling character and franchise.

Interestingly enough, the team pushed forward with the plan unaware of how Sony would respond, truly taking a gamble in the hopes that Sony would willingly receive Crash as the official face of the PlayStation. “Remember, at the time we were working with Universal, not Sony,” he explained.

Sony had no way of knowing about what we were doing, and we had no way of knowing how they would react. Of course, who were we to attempt a game of this complexity and against such great competition? Again, to succeed as an entrepreneur takes a certain amount of blind faith, bordering on raw audacity and possibly entering the realm of stupidity.

Well it looks like all of the hard work and “blind faith” really paid off, as the studio has gone on to be one of the most beloved developers at Sony, having brought us Jak and Daxter, Uncharted and now the upcoming The Last of Us. And to think, it all wouldn’t have been possible without their idea for a ridiculous, bright orange PSone mascot.