Crash Bandicoot creators start new shop

Naughty Dog founders Jason Rubin and Andrew Gavin start Monkey Gods, a new casual game development company specializing in 360, PS3, Wii, iPhone, and Facebook games.

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Founders Jason Rubin and Andrew Gavin have teamed up again to form Monkey Gods, a new development company whose first two games will include Monkwerks ,a multiplayer word challenge game on Facebook and the iPhone, and Snood for the iPhone, a remake of the 1996 puzzle game.

Jason Rubin left Naughty Dog in 2004 after giving an impassioned speech during that year’s D.I.C.E. Summit, calling for developers to demand more respect from their game publishers. By working outside of a major game developer, he hopes to empower developers in a climate where publishers have ignored developmental talent. “I want to lead by example and take a real risk. I hope other developers take my message to heart,” he declared.

Rubin and Gavin teamed up in their adolescence in the mid 1980s to form Naughty Dog, releasing their first game for the Apple II computer. Their most acclaimed games, the Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter series, were hits on the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2. The Crash Bandicoot series has sold more than 40 million copies, then-publisher Vivendi’s president of retail services, Pascal Brochier, said in 2007.

Rubin is also a professional comic book creator, writing the script for Iron and the Maiden by publisher Aspen Comics, which was released in September 2007. His series’ Web page says the comic is “destined to go beyond the printed page” and might be adapted into a video game series.

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