Universal is an American movie studio. Its video games branch, Universal Interactive Studios, is known for publishing a variety of platforming games as well as licensed games based on Universal's movies.
Universal Interactive Studios had their first major hit, Crash Bandicoot, in September 1996. Since then, the publisher has also released games in the Spyro the Dragon, Ratchett and Clank, and Jak & Daxter franchises. Although the company technically owns its renowned studios, including Insomniac Games and Naughty Dog, a large amount of freedom is given, with only one large studio, simply called "Universal Games," being in charge of movie licenses.
In 2003, members of Insomniac Games and Naughty Dog left their respective companies to found High Impact Games, and employees of both Naughty Dog and Blizzard left their companies to found Ready at Dawn. High Impact Games would soon be acquired by Universal, whereas Ready at Dawn remains independent to this day. Both companies would mostly continue to work for Universal, making handheld games in Universal franchises, particularly platformers.
Universal Interactive Studios is known for releasing their games on as many platforms as possible. However, Universal was often seen as being a pro-Sega company during the Saturn-era, due to their not funding ports of various games to the Nintendo 64. Nevertheless, their support of Nintendo platforms has been strong since the release of the GameCube, including support for the the Game Boy Nitro.