Andy Gavin

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Andy Gavin
Gavin smiling to the camera, wearing sunglasses
Gavin in 2009
Andrew Scott Gavin

(1970-06-11) June 11, 1970 (age 53)
EducationHaverford College (BS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD)
  • Entrepreneur
  • game designer
  • novelist
  • programmer
Years active1984–present
EmployerNaughty Dog (1984–2004)

Andrew Scott Gavin (born June 11, 1970) is an American video game programmer, entrepreneur, and novelist. Gavin co-founded the video game company Naughty Dog with childhood friend Jason Rubin in 1986, which released games including Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter.[1] Prior to founding Naughty Dog, Gavin worked in LISP at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.[2]


Gavin earned a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiological Science from Haverford College.[3] He studied for a Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, conducting research for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Mars Rover Vision Project, under advisor Rod Brooks.[4] As a student, Gavin learned the LISP computer programming language, and developed a number of custom programming languages that were later used for the graphics, controls, sounds, and artificial intelligence in Naughty Dog video games.


Gavin at the Naughty Dog Wrap Party, Santa Monica, CA, 2009

Gavin and Rubin sold their first video game, Math Jam, in 1985. In 1989, they sold Keef the Thief to Electronic Arts.[5] In the early 1990s, their fighting game, Way of the Warrior, led to a multi-title deal with Universal Interactive Studios.[6] Under the auspices of this Universal deal they produced the Crash Bandicoot series from 1994 until 1999, and later the Jak and Daxter series. At the end of 2000, Rubin and Gavin sold Naughty Dog to Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), having released 14 Naughty Dog games, which together sold over 35 million units and generated over $1 billion in revenue.[7]

While at Naughty Dog, Gavin developed two LISP dialects for use in game development, Game Oriented Object Lisp (GOOL) and its successor Game Oriented Assembly Lisp (GOAL). These included innovations in terms of language choice and design.[8]

Shortly after leaving Naughty Dog in 2004, Gavin and Rubin co-founded a new Internet startup called Flektor with former HBO executive Jason R. Kay. In May 2007, the company was sold to Fox Interactive Media, a division of News Corp.[9] Fox described the company as "a next-generation Web site that provides users with a suite of Web-based tools to transform their photos and videos into dynamic slideshows, postcards, live interactive presentations, and video mash-ups." In October 2007, Flektor partnered sister company MySpace, and MTV to provide instant audience feedback via polls for the interactive MySpace / MTV Presidential Dialogues series with Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama.[10]

Gavin left Fox Interactive Media in 2008. In 2009, he and Rubin announced a new social game startup called Monkey Gods, which was working on a new version of Snood along with a casual word game called MonkWerks.[11]

Gavin also released a dark historical fantasy novel, The Darkening Dream, published in December 2011.[12] His second novel Untimed, which involves time travel, was released on December 19, 2012.[13]



Game Title Release Platform Role
Math Jam 1985 Apple II Programmer
Ski Crazed[14] 1986 Apple II Programmer
Dream Zone 1987 Amiga, Apple II Programmer
Keef the Thief 1989 Amiga, Apple II, Mega Drive/Genesis Programmer
Rings of Power 1991 Mega Drive/Genesis Programmer/Designer
Way of the Warrior 1994 3DO Producer/Programmer/Designer
Crash Bandicoot 1996 PlayStation Producer/Lead Programmer/Designer
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back 1997 PlayStation Producer/Lead Programmer/Designer
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped 1998 PlayStation Producer/Lead Programmer/Designer
Crash Team Racing 1999 PlayStation Chief Technology Officer
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy 2001 PlayStation 2 Producer/Lead Programmer/Designer
Jak II 2003 PlayStation 2 Producer/Lead Programmer/Designer
Jak 3 2004 PlayStation 2 Producer/Lead Programmer/Designer
Jak X: Combat Racing 2005 PlayStation 2 Extra Special Thanks
Daxter 2006 PlayStation Portable Special Thanks
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune 2007 PlayStation 3 Special Thanks


Title Release Genre
The Darkening Dream 2011 Dark fantasy
Untimed 2012 Time travel


  1. ^ "Death Match: The Hit Squad". Wired. Vol. 9, no. 5. May 2001.
  2. ^ "Franz Inc Customer Applications: Naughty Dog Software". Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  3. ^ Kim Pallister (17 May 2005). "Rendering to Texture Surfaces Using DirectX 7". Gamasutra.
  4. ^ "Bio". November 12, 2011.
  5. ^ "Keef the Thief: A Boy and His Lockpick for Amiga (1989)". MobyGames. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  6. ^ Meston, Zach (February 1995). "Electric Word: Naughty Dog Does Good". Wired. Vol. 3, no. 2.
  7. ^ Purchese, Robert (31 July 2008). "Devs don't need producers – Naughty Dog". Eurogamer.
  8. ^ Stephen White. "Postmortem: Naughty Dog's Jak and Daxter: the Precursor Legacy". Gamasutra.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 16, 2009. Retrieved May 18, 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Barack Obama Fields Tough Questions At MTV/MySpace Forum". MTV. 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  11. ^ "Crash Bandicoot creators speak out on forming new game company | GamesBeat | Games | by Dean Takahashi". 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  12. ^ "The Darkening Dream". All Things Andy Gavin. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  13. ^ "Untimed". All Things Andy Gavin. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  14. ^ "Way of the Warrior – The Lost Interview". November 2, 2011.