Universal Interactive logo
|Fate||Merged with Vivendi|
|Successor||Vivendi Universal Games|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California, United States|
Universal Interactive (founded as Universal Interactive Studios) was a video game developer and publisher. It was a division of Universal Studios before being bought by Vivendi through their acquisition of Seagrams entertainment assets. Universal Interactive was primarily known for publishing and distributing the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon games, along with games based on feature films from Universal Pictures. Universal Interactive as a brand was spun off as a video game publishing label for Vivendi before being dissolved in 2003, whilst the legal entity became the reformed Vivendi Universal Games.
Before Universal Interactive was founded, MCA/Universal solely licensed games as merchandise. Among the games published this way was the notorious E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982.
The purchase of Universal to Matsushita Electric (operating as Panasonic) in 1990 was conducted in part by Skip Paul, who was an executive at Atari during the E.T. deal. Matsushita soon became the primary hardware licensee for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, leading a corporate push for MCA to provide entertainment software for the platform.
The division was officially launched by Paul in 1993 with the announcement of its first title, Jurassic Park Interactive. It was intended to be released as a launch title for the 3DO, but it was delayed until 1994.
That same year, Universal Interactive made three-game contracts with upstart developers Insomniac Games and Naughty Dog, who respectively pitched Disruptor and Way of the Warrior. Vice president Mark Cerny oversaw the development of the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon series under these deals. Cerny would quit his position in 1998 to become an independent consultant for the two developers as they eventually moved out of Universal.
A division named Universal Studios Digital Arts was formed exclusively for Xena: Warrior Princess.
After Universal was bought by Vivendi in 2000, Universal Interactive was consolidated along with other purchased studios into Vivendi Universal Games. The label continued to be used until 2003, when it was retired in favor of its parent company. However the company still made and distribute games under the Vivendi Universal name until they were shut down in 2007 after their last game Scarface: The World Is Yours on the Wii was out in stores.
List of games
This is a list of video games made and distributed by Universal Interactive.
|Title||System||Release date||Co-produced with||Note|
|Jurassic Park Interactive||3DO Interactive Multiplayer||1994||Studio 3DO|
|Way of the Warrior||November 1, 1994||Naughty Dog||Game completed before publishing rights were bought|
|Crash Bandicoot||PlayStation||August 31, 1996|
|Disruptor||November 30, 1996||Insomniac Games|
|Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back||October 31, 1997||Naughty Dog|
|Spyro the Dragon||September 10, 1998||Insomniac Games|
|Running Wild||October 7, 1998||Blue Shift/989 Studios|
|Crash Bandicoot: Warped||October 31, 1998||Naughty Dog|
|Xena: Warrior Princess||PlayStation||September 30, 1999||Electronic Arts||Credited as Universal Studios Digital Arts
Based on Xena: Warrior Princess
|Game Boy Color||August 2001||Titus Software|
|Crash Team Racing||PlayStation||September 30, 1999||Naughty Dog||Last installment developed by Naughty Dog|
|Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!||November 2, 1999||Insomniac Games|
|The Land Before Time: Return to the Great Valley||September 14, 2000||Realtime Associates||License only|
|Spyro: Year of the Dragon||October 25, 2000||Insomniac Games||Last installment developed by Insomniac Games|
|The Grinch||Dreamcast||October 31, 2000||Artificial Mind & Movement||Based on Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas|
|Game Boy Color||November 2000|
|Microsoft Windows||December 4, 2000|
|PlayStation||December 8, 2000|
|Crash Bash||PlayStation||November 6, 2000||Eurocom|
|Hercules: The Legendary Journeys||Nintendo 64
Game Boy Color
|November 16, 2000||Player 1
|Based on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys|
|Woody Woodpecker Racing||PlayStation||November 22, 2000||Syrox Developments
|Game Boy Color||December 22, 2000|
|Microsoft Windows||February 1, 2001|
|The Land Before Time: Great Valley Racing Adventure||PlayStation||May 1, 2001||TDK Mediactive||License only|
|The Land Before Time||Game Boy Color||July 14, 2001||Conspiracy Entertainment|
|Woody Woodpecker: Escape from Buzz Buzzard Park||Game Boy Color||September 2001||Eko Software|
|Microsoft Windows||November 21, 2001|
|PlayStation 2||February 21, 2002|
|Spyro: Season of Ice||Game Boy Advance||October 29, 2001||Digital Eclipse|
|Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex||PlayStation 2||October 29, 2001||Traveller's Tales|
|GameCube||April 15, 2002|
|Xbox||September 17, 2002|
|Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure||GameCube||December 18, 2001||Nai'a Digital Works||License only|
|Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure||Game Boy Advance||February 25, 2002||Vicarious Visions|
|The Land Before Time||February 28, 2002||Full Fat||License only|
|Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon||Xbox||July 2, 2002||Ronin Entertainment|
|The Thing||Microsoft Windows||August 20, 2002||Computer Artworks||Shared credit with Black Label Games division|
|Xbox||September 3, 2002|
|PlayStation 2||September 10, 2002|
|The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian||GameCube||September 11, 2002||Point of View, Inc.||Based on The Scorpion King|
|Spyro 2: Season of Flame||Game Boy Advance||September 25, 2002||Digital Eclipse|
|Monster Force||September 29, 2002|
|Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly||PlayStation 2||November 2, 2002||Check Six Games
Equinoxe Digital Entertainment
|GameCube||November 8, 2002|
|The Land Before Time: Big Water Adventure||PlayStation||November 27, 2002||Digital Illusions|
|Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced||Game Boy Advance||January 7, 2003||Vicarious Visions|
|Knight Rider: The Game||PlayStation 2
|February 12, 2003||Davilex Games||License only
Based on Knight Rider
|Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend||Game Boy Advance||March 28, 2003||Vicarious Visions|
|Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis||Microsoft Windows||March 10, 2003||Blue Tongue Entertainment|
|PlayStation 2||March 25, 2003|
|Xbox||March 26, 2003|
|Hulk||Game Boy Advance
|May 27, 2003||Marvel Entertainment||Based on Hulk|
|Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs||Game Boy Advance||October 27, 2003||Digital Eclipse|
|Crash Nitro Kart||PlayStation 2
Game Boy Advance
|November 11, 2003||Vicarious Visions|
- Markoff, John (1993-09-09). "Market Place; Investors can only guess which video game device will conquer.". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "A behind-the-scenes look at the stars of 'Jurassic Park' COMPUTERS". Knight Ridder News Service. 1993-06-21. Retrieved 2016-03-10 – via Baltimore Sun/Tribune.
- Harmon, Amy (1994-05-10). "COMPANY TOWN : MCA Hopes 'Jurassic' Can Keep 3DO From Extinction : Technology: The interactive game, based on the movie, arrives in stores today.". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- BiffsGamingVideos (2011-11-12), 1994 SCES: Parts 13-23 (3DO, Crystal Dynamics, IntelliPlay, CD-i), retrieved 2016-03-10