|Industry||Video game industry
|Headquarters||Burbank, California, United States|
Ratchet & Clank series (2002-present)
Resistance series (2006-2011)
Spyro series (1998-2000)
|Owner(s)||Ted Price (CEO)
Insomniac North Carolina
Insomniac Games, Inc. is an American independent video game developer with the corporate headquarters located in Burbank, California. Founded in 1994, Insomniac Games has released titles for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 video game consoles. As of 2012 the developer had sold a total of thirty-five million units of software on the PlayStation platform. Insomniac Games has also won 13 "Best Workplace" awards at the national, state, and local level.
Insomniac Games created Disruptor, the Spyro series, the Ratchet & Clank series, the Resistance series, Outernauts, and Fuse. They released Resistance: Fall of Man in 2006, a first-person shooter (FPS) and PlayStation 3 launch game. In 2007, they released Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, their first Ratchet & Clank title for the PlayStation 3. In 2008, the company released their first title for PlayStation Network, Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty, and their third PlayStation 3 title, Resistance 2. In 2009, Insomniac Games released their fourth PlayStation 3 title, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time. Two years later, in 2011, Insomniac Games released their third and final installment into the Resistance franchise, Resistance 3, their first title to support 3D and PlayStation Move support. Then they released Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault in November 2012. Their latest release was Fuse in May 2013 on both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.
Insomniac was founded in 1994 as an independent video game developer and is now based in Burbank, California. Its initial game, an FPS called Disruptor for the PlayStation, was released on November 20, 1996, and received critical success. Since then, the company has released fifteen more games in Three series (both created by the company) for PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 earning both critical and commercial success. After the company produced the first three Spyro the Dragon games, Universal Interactive Studios picked up the Spyro series while they moved on to A Girl With A Stick. They abandoned that project to develop the Ratchet & Clank series.
Brian Hastings suggested the Ratchet & Clank series. The first Ratchet & Clank was the first western-produced game bundled with PlayStation 2 in Japan, it was the first western video game to make Japan's top 100 list.
The company was named one of the top 10 Best Small Companies to work for in America for 3 years in a row for their relaxed environment and flexible hours.
In 2003, a few of Insomniac's staff members left to create High Impact Games.
In 2006, Insomniac released an M-rated PlayStation 3 first-person shooter, very unlike its other works. Its name during production was I-8, but it was later renamed Resistance: Fall of Man. The game's futuristic weapons show the influence of Ratchet & Clank.
At the 2008 Game Developers Conference, they announced the "Nocturnal Initiative". This is a free wiki-based project designed to encourage the distribution of development technologies for use in other games. Shared technologies include some of those used in titles such as Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction and Resistance 2.
In an interview with GameDaily BIZ in June 2008, Ted Price announced that Insomniac Games planned to open a sister studio in North Carolina. The new studio hired twenty-five to thirty new developers. The new studio opened in January 2009.
In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal and Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, the player can visit an easter egg known as the "Insomniac Museum". This is located on the planets Dantopia (a reference to the late Dan Johnson) and Burbank (a reference to the company's location). The museum lets players find items, enemies, objects and conceptions that did not make it into the final game version. The museum adopts the actual layout of the company's offices.
On May 25, 2010 Insomniac Games announced a new franchise for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to be published by Electronic Arts, its first Xbox release. That game was originally called Overstrike before being renamed to Fuse.
Insomniac stated that it is working on multiple projects exclusively for PlayStation 3. These include Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One and Resistance 3, which were both announced on August 17, 2010 at Gamescom in Cologne. In March 2011, they announced the Insomniac Click division, which is dedicated to mobile gaming and Facebook games. In 2012, Insomniac Games refocused Insomniac Click, and transformed them into a dedicated team, rather than a sub-division. This team is responsible for Outernauts, which is available on Facebook, and as of December 4, 2012, on Kongregate as well.
In January 2012, Price announced that Insomniac would no longer make Resistance games.
On March 2, 2012, Amazon France listed a "Ratchet & Clank HD Collection" on its website. On March 15, Sony officially confirmed that a Ratchet & Clank Trilogy would be released on June 29 in Europe, and August 28 in North America as the Ratchet & Clank Collection. It was to be distributed by Idol Minds. The HD Collection includes the first three games, each running at 60fps and in 3D. A Crack in Time supports up to eight players.
On May 30, 2012, Price announced that a new Ratchet and Clank game was in production named Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault, known as Q-Force in Europe and Australia. Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault was developed in North Carolina by the Insomniac North studio. It was released on the PlayStation Network on November 27. It also received a physical Blu-ray release. Both releases (physical and digital) include access to the PS Vita version of Full Frontal Assault upon its release (Spring 2013). Due to multiple delays, the game will also grant access to Ratchet: Deadlocked (known as Ratchet: Gladiator in EU territories). In North America, this will be accessible from the 'Disc Benefits' menu in the XMB. In SCEE territories, users will have to log in and play an online match prior to an undisclosed cut off date. Insomniac North adopted a business model similar to popular F2P titles, offering skins to players as paid DLC, while keeping core content (maps and modes) free of charge.
- Ted Price (Founder and CEO)
- Alex Hastings (Chief Architect)
- Brian Hastings (Chief Creative Officer)
- John Fiorito (Chief Operating Officer)
- Ransom White (Chief Financial Officer)
- Chad Dezern (North Carolina Studio Director)
The Full Moon Show
In 2007 the company announced a bi-monthly podcast available on iTunes. It included various different segments such as I Want Your Job, where they would interview a member of the team. It would also use music clips from their games as the intro, with several episodes ending on a brand new music piece from an upcoming game. The last edition was on July 8, 2011.
Click was the name of the division that produces social gaming titles, and was revealed to the public in June 2011. Chief Creative Officer Brian Hastings stated, "The gaming landscape is changing faster now than at any time in the industry’s existence. More people are playing games every day than ever before and the kinds of games they are playing are diversifying more rapidly than ever. The whole game industry is in the midst of what appears to be a sea change. But with this change comes some of the most exciting challenges and opportunities we’ve ever had." In 2012, Insomniac Games announced that Insomniac Click was re-purposed into a new development team responsible for their social and mobile platforms, as opposed to a new sub-division.
Insomniac partnered with Naughty Dog beginning when the two companies worked in the same building on a Universal Studios back-lot. The companies' games are similar in style and sometimes contain references to each other. Demos for one company's games often appear in the other's releases. For example, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! contained a demo of Crash Team Racing. Jak II and Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando feature billboard cameos of each other's heroes (a scene in Going Commando shows Ratchet playing both Jak games). This was taken one step further in Jak X: Combat Racing and Ratchet: Deadlocked as both featured Ratchet and Jak respectively as unlockable skins/characters. In the game Daxter, a Ratchet and a Clank mask can be found.
Insomniac did not use Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy engine code from Naughty Dog to use on the Ratchet & Clank games, though several key renderers from Naughty Dog were used. Naughty Dog's Richard Lemarchand said, "We don't really trade anything concrete in terms of technology, but we definitely compare war stories of life in the trenches, and try and learn from each other's experiences." Price clarified Insomniac's stance on engine technology, while obliquely mentioning the shared renderers:
"We've always developed all our own technology. It's been a little frustrating in the past for us to hear people say, 'Oh yeah, the Insomniac game is running on the Naughty Dog engine.' People assumed that we were using Naughty Dog's engine for Ratchet, and that was not true. We shared some technology with Naughty Dog way back when, and that was great, but we are a company that puts stock in developing specialized technology and we will continue to do so." -- Ted Price, Independent PlayStation Magazine, September 2006
However, the credit sequence for Ratchet & Clank on PlayStation 2 states, "The Ratchet and Clank background engine was developed using proprietary techniques and code developed by Naughty Dog."
With the release of PlayStation 3, both developers seemed to be changing focus aesthetically from character-based platformers to more realistic, mature-themed action games with Naughty Dog's action series Uncharted and Insomniac's Resistance. Both main protagonists of these series were named "Nathan" (Nathan Drake in Uncharted and Nathan Hale in Resistance). For their later Post-apocalyptic games Resistance 3 and The Last of Us, they changed to a character whose name begins in J (Joe for Resistance 3 and Joel for The Last of Us). Also, they are personal journeys against zombie-like creatures and armed humans/aliens.
Sucker Punch Productions
Insomniac works with Sucker Punch Productions, as shown by the latter's entry in the credits list of Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal and Deadlocked. It is known for its Sly Cooper franchise and PlayStation 3 exclusive inFamous.
High Impact Games
Insomniac shared its library of assets with High Impact Games in order to develop Size Matters and Secret Agent Clank. They worked closely on PSP games. High Impact Games was founded by former Insomniac employees and shares a close relationship with their original employer.
Idol Minds developed the PlayStation 3 title The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy and worked closely with Insomniac to remaster the original PlayStation 2 trilogy.
SCE Bend Studio
Nihilistic developed PlayStation Move Heroes for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Move, which was released in March 2011. Nihilistic developed an original game in the Resistance series called Resistance: Burning Skies for PlayStation Vita.
Their first multiconsole title, Fuse, was published with EA.
In June 2013, Insomniac announced a partnership with Microsoft, and that Sunset Overdrive would be Xbox One exclusive.
Game credits list SCE Japan, Sony Santa Monica, Guerrilla Games, Media Molecule, Zipper Interactive and Incognito Games under "Thanks" in addition to the above. Insomniac stated that Sony's first-party developers are coming together and sharing technology and ideas.
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