Sony announces dual acquisitions

The company acquires two development studios, Naughty Dog and Red Zone Interactive, in separate deals.

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Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced the separate acquisitions of Naughty Dog and Red Zone Interactive. Naughty Dog has worked previously on the popular Crash Bandicoot franchise, while Red Zone has developed multiple incarnations of the NFL GameDay series. Under the terms of its agreement with Naughty Dog, the studio's entire 30-person development team will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SCEA, but it will continue to operate under the Naughty Dog brand name. Its original founders, Andrew Gavin and Jason Rubin, will continue to oversee the company's day-to-day operations under the direction of Shuhei Yoshida, vice president of product development at SCEA. All of the company's resources are currently dedicated to developing exclusive new content for the PlayStation 2. Meanwhile, Red Zone Interactive will continue to develop games under the GameDay franchise and other sports properties published by Sony's 989 Sports division exclusively for the PlayStation and PS2.

"As one of the world's premier software developers with a proven track record of success, we are pleased to increase our close working relationship with the talented animators, programmers, and developers at Naughty Dog to create breakthrough content exclusively for the PlayStation 2," Yoshida said. "Through this acquisition, we can continue to ensure that we are providing the most challenging, revolutionary computer entertainment experiences that will exceed consumers' expectations."

"The acquisition will provide Red Zone Interactive development teams greater access to the vast technical and operational resources of Sony Computer Entertainment America," said Chris Whaley, president of Red Zone Interactive. "We are proud to rejoin the company responsible for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, which we believe will revolutionize the future of not just video gaming, but also home entertainment."

As reported previously, Naughty Dog will not develop further games in the Crash Bandicoot series. The franchise is owned by Universal Interactive Studios, which, under a joint agreement with Konami, announced that it plans to develop Crash games for multiple platforms including the PS2 and the Xbox. The next Crash Bandicoot game is being developed by UK-based Traveller's Tales.

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