Universal Interactive

From Audiovisual Identity Database


Credits
Descriptions by
EnormousRat, 20thCenturyFoxLover and CuriousGeorge60

Captures by
20thCenturyFoxLover and EnormousRat

Editions by
CuriousGeorge60

Video captures courtesy of
Jason Hansen and Superweapon667

Background

Universal Interactive (formerly known as Universal Interactive Studios until 2001) was a video game company originally owned by Universal Studios. Established in January 1994, it was focused on developing and publishing games based on original content (most notably the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro game series, both of which are currently owned by Activision Blizzard) and Universal Studios characters, movies, and television series. In 2000, the company was merged into Vivendi Universal and became its internal studio. In 2004, the company was folded into Vivendi Universal Games (later "Vivendi Games"); since then, the standard Universal logos of the time have been used on licensed titles.



1st Logo (May 10, 1994-December 1996)

Logo: On a black background, a blue 3D globe with red continents flies towards us. When it stops, the words "universal interactive studios", written in one line and in a custom font, appear over the globe with "interactive" in a blue rectangle.

Variants:

  • There is a still version of this logo which looks a little flatter, and the company name is all white.
  • On Way of the Warrior, after the logo finishes its animation, it segues into the Naughty Dog logo.
  • On Crash Bandicoot, the copyright notice is under the still logo.

Technique: 3D computer animation.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the game.

Availability: Rare.

  • The animated version appears on Jurassic Park Interactive and Way of the Warrior on 3DO.
  • The still version appears on Crash Bandicoot and Disruptor for PS1.

2nd Logo (October 31, 1997-December 15, 2000)

Logo: We see the still print version of the 1997 Universal Studios logo. Under it are the stacked words "UNIVERSAL INTERACTIVE STUDIOS" with "UNIVERSAL" above "INTERACTIVE STUDIOS".

Variants:

  • Sometimes, the copyright notice is under the logo.
  • Since 1998, the website URL "www.universalstudios.com" is under the logo.
  • On Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped and Spyro the Dragon, the copyright notice and website URL are all yellow.
  • On the September 15 build of Spyro 2, the logo, except for the text is zoomed out, and vertically scaled.
  • On Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, the logo appears via zooming on a space background during the opening intro.
  • On Running Wild, the standard logo is on a starfield background and the copyright notice is intact.
  • On the trailer for The Grinch, there are no continents and no "UNIVERSAL" below the globe. On the game itself, the print artwork version appears, but without "INTERACTIVE STUDIOS" below the logo.

Technique: None. The zooming on the Crash Bandicoot 2 and 3 variants.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the game.

Availability: Appears on titles from the company from this time period: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Spyro the Dragon (and its sequels, Ripto's Rage (known as Gateway to Glimmer outside the US) and Year of the Dragon), Running Wild for PS1, and The Grinch for PS1, Dreamcast and PC.

3rd Logo (October-November 2000)

Logo: On a black space background, we see the letters in "UNIVERSAL" flip around quickly, two letters at a time (UN-IV-ER-SA-L). After the "L" flips around, it cuts to the words "INTERACTIVE STUDIOS" flipping over and zooming out. In the middle is a spinning circular outline that represents the globe. The "UNIVERSAL" text then appears through the outline as it stops. The logo then fades out, and then the blue text "WWW.UNIVERSALSTUDIOS.COM" appears and ripples on-screen.

Variant: A shorter variant exists. This version instead just features the "V" in "INTERACTIVE STUDIOS" rotating before continuing on as normal.

Technique: 3D computer animation.

Music/Sounds: The opening/closing theme to the trailer.

Availability: Rare.

  • The long version appears on a trailer for The Mummy (PS1/PC).
  • The short version appears on another trailer for The Mummy, as well as the trailers for Woody Woodpecker Racing (PS1) and The Grinch(PS1/Dreamcast/PC).

4th Logo (November 8, 2000-August 26, 2004)

Logo: Same concept as before, but the Universal Pictures logo is swapped out for the full print logo.

Variants:

  • Since 2000, the website URL reads "www.universalinteractive.com".
  • Starting in 2002, "UNIVERSAL INTERACTIVE STUDIOS" was changed to "UNIVERSAL INTERACTIVE".
  • On the Game Boy Color versions of The Grinch and The Mummy, the text on the bottom simply says "UNIVERSAL STUDIOS".
  • On The Mummy, in addition to the still logo seen above, the standard Universal logo appears in the intro. The sun rises, and the logo forms into the opening movie.
  • On The Mummy Returns, the logo is on a misty-like background.
  • On Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, the logo is on a "starry" background. Also, it zooms in from the start and zooms through at the end to make room for the Vicarious Visions logo.
  • On Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend for GBA, there is no URL.
  • On Crash Nitro Kart, the logo is on a shiny pink license plate and the text under the logo is outlined. This plate is attached to Crash's kart, and breaks off and spins down face-up where he starts to drive. The GBA version has this plate in still form.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the game.

Availability: Appears on games such as The Mummy, Woody Woodpecker Racing for PS1, Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure and Monster Force for GBA, and Bruce Lee: Quest Of The Dragon for Xbox.

5th Logo (May 2001-October 16, 2003)

Logo: The camera zooms in around some moving blue circular traces. During that, the words "UNIVERSAL INTERACTIVE", along with the website URL "www.universalinteractive.com" below it, fade in under the particles. The tracing particles clear out, and the familiar globe fades in the center. The letters of "UNIVERSAL" fly, rotating from beyond the screen and take their places, forming the logo.

Early Variant: A prototype variant exists, however only a short version exists of this version. The company text uses the full "UNIVERSAL INTERACTIVE STUDIOS" name, the Universal logo's text is in a far darker shade of blue, and the URL is for Universal Studios itself. The logo also shines at the end.

Variants:

  • A shorter version exists that starts at the letters flying.
  • On trailers, after the logo finishes animating, the light in the middle of the globe darkens, leaving only the text before the entire logo fades out.
  • On the trailer for The Mummy Returns, no URL appears.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: Some wheezing sounds of the circular particles, then typewriter-like effects when "UNIVERSAL" flies.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On the trailer for The Mummy Returns for PS2, the trailer music plays, with the typewriter sounds intact.
  • On the trailer for Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, the trailer music simply plays with no sounds from the logo.

Availability: Rare. This logo was mainly used on trailers for games.

  • The prototype version appears at the end of trailers for the PS2 version of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Spyro: Season of Ice for GBA, and The Mummy Returns on PS2. The actual games use the third logo.
  • The main version first appeared on the ECTS Trailer for Spyro 2: Season of Flame for GBA and later showed up on one of the trailers for The Thing (PS2/Xbox/PC). It also appeared on two retail games: The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian (PS2/GameCube) and Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis (PS2/Xbox/PC) (also appeared on the trailer for that game as well).
    • The short version appears on trailers for Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure for GBA, Bruce Lee: Quest for the Dragon on Xbox, The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian (PS2/GameCube), and the GameCube port of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex.

6th Logo (September 9, 2002-November 14, 2003)

Logo: On a black or white background, we see a similar print version of the 1997 Universal Studios logo with "INTERACTIVE" below it inside a stylized blue square.

Variant: On the end credits to Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, the logo fades in with parts of the copyright text surrounding the logo (that are not seen at normal field of view at 4:3) and the Check Six Studios logo behind the copyright and this logo. When the fade window fades to black and fades in again, the Universal Interactive logo moves down below the text.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the game.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • Can be seen on many Game Boy Advance titles released during this time period, like Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Traced, Spyro 2: Season of Flame, Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs, and The Incredible Hulk. Also appears on the trailer for the former title in the list.
  • It can also be seen on the console titles Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly for GameCube and PS2 and the GameCube version of 4x4 EVO 2.
  • On some games, the logo was used on the cover art, but uses earlier logos on the games themselves (or in the case of Battlestar Galactica (PS2), the Vivendi Universal Games logo).
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