GE: You have also dabbled in the mobile market with the company Monkey Gods. Is that something you are continuing to dabble in?
AG: I have an abiding interest in most forms of entertainment (just not sports) so sure. I find the shifting nature of play times and mechanics inherently fascinating. Developments like the way in which Farmville type games encourage you to play briefly every couple of hours are very interesting. Micro transaction models are interesting — and they work — although I don’t think they necessarily improve the player experience when they are the only source of revenue.
GE: Is a big video game developer something that you would want to be involved in again? Any particular franchises or developers catch your eye?
AG: Oh, I still love video games, particularly fantasy ones. I’m counting the days until the release of Diablo III! I’d love to make a game somewhere between that, Dark Souls, and WoW. But then I think about the 5-7 years of development…
GE: Seeing as how you and Jason Rubin were essentially the “mentors” to the current crop of Naughty Dog heads, how do you feel about where the company is now? Do you have any thoughts on the upcoming The Last of Us?
AG: I have to say The Last of Us looks totally awesome because it’s well — post apocalyptic zombie (which I love) — and in true Naughty Dog fashion totally gorgeous. Plus I love spunky heroines. In general, I’m totally gratified that NDI is at the top of its game, and probably producing even better work under Evan and Christophe than it did in my day. That’s the way it should be. I can take credit for setting it in motion without in any way diminishing the talents of those there today (which are immense). They’re different things. Things have changed, but fundamentally it’s the same company with the same quality first ethos. The senior dogs absorbed that mentality, colored it with there personal styles, and ran with it. Hard and fast.
Thank you to Andy Gavin for his time in doing this interview! You can check out what Andy is working on at his site,