Universal Interactive (formerly Universal Interactive Studios) was an American video game publisher. The foundation of Universal Interactive Studios was announced by MCA Inc. on January 4, 1994. Leading key personnel for the foundation were Skip Paul and Robert Biniaz. The company's first product was Jurassic Park Interactive, which was previously announced in 1993 and released on May 10, 1994, to mixed reception. Universal Interactive Studios had their biggest success with Crash Bandicoot in 1996. When Univeral Studios merged with Vivendi in July 2000, Universal Interactive Studios was re-organized under Vivendi's Havas Interactive (later Vivendi Games) division as Universal Interactive. Vivendi Universal divested of the "Universal" name, including Universal Interactive, on March 3, 2006.
Before Universal Interactive was founded, MCA/Universal solely licensed games as merchandise. Among the games published this way was the notorious E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982.
The purchase of Universal to Matsushita Electric (operating as Panasonic) in 1990 was conducted in part by Skip Paul, who was an executive at Atari during the E.T. deal. Matsushita soon became the primary hardware licensee for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, leading a corporate push for MCA to provide entertainment software for the platform.
The division was officially launched by Paul in 1993 with the announcement of its first title, Jurassic Park Interactive. It was intended to be released as a launch title for the 3DO, but it was delayed until 1994.
After Universal was bought by Vivendi in 2000, Universal Interactive was consolidated along with other purchased studios into Vivendi Universal Games. The label continued to be used until 2003, when it was retired in favor of its parent company. However the company still made and distribute games under the Vivendi Universal name until they were shut down in 2007 after their last game Scarface: The World Is Yours on the Wii was out in stores.