Spyro the Dragon is a platform game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game was released for the PlayStation on September 9, 1998. The first game in the Spyro series, it stars the title character, a young purple dragon named Spyro, and his dragonfly friend, Sparx, who venture through the dragon kingdom to rescue the other dragons from a spell placed by Gnasty Gnorc. The game is an open-ended 3D platformer, with large, sprawling levels which require the use of Spyro's dragon abilities- most prominently, his mid-air gliding technique, which can be utilized to glide across large distances. Several collectible items, among which are multicolored gemstones, stolen dragon eggs, and encapsulated dragons, are located throughout stages, and must be collected in order to progress through the game.
Spyro the Dragon started development following the release of Disruptor, Insomniac's debut game which sold poorly but received critical appraisal, impressing Universal Interactive enough to encourage them to make a second game. Artist Craig Stitt suggested a game about a dragon, and work began on a new game. Taking inspiration from the film Dragonheart, the game started out as a more mature title with a dark and realistic approach, but the direction was shifted to have a more whimsical and light-hearted tone in order to appeal to a wider market of consumers. The game was one of the first on the PlayStation to utilize shifting levels of detail among rendered objects, thanks to a special panoramic engine developed by Alex Hastings, which allowed the game's open-ended nature to be fully realized. Stewart Copeland, the former drummer for The Police, composed the game's music, and the titular character was voice acted by Carlos Alazraqui, alongside additional voices done by Clancy Brown, Michael Gough and Jamie Alcroft.
Spyro the Dragon released by Sony Computer Entertainment in 1998 as part of an effort to aim for a younger age demographic and compete with the more popular kid's platform, the Nintendo 64. The game received positive reviews from critics, who praised its graphics and high replay value. Despite initially sluggish sales, it found larger success following the advent of the 1998 holiday season, going on to sell nearly 5 million copies worldwide. The game established Spyro as a well-known platforming mascot on the PlayStation alongside Crash Bandicoot, and two sequels, titled Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon, were later released for the PlayStation in 1999 and 2000, respectively. Although Insomniac gave up the development rights to the Spyro series following the third game, the success of the PlayStation titles lent itself to a continued series of games across various platforms. A remastered version of the game was released in 2018 as part of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.