SOURCE: Jellyvision Games LLC

August 12, 2008 13:26 ET

Jellyvision, Creator of YOU DON'T KNOW JACK, Reboots Its Game Business, Appoints Industry Veteran Mike Bilder as General Manager

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - August 12, 2008) - Jellyvision, the interactive entertainment and interface design pioneer, announced today that it was returning to the games business with industry veteran Mike Bilder running the show.

Jellyvision is best known for its award-winning trivia games from the 1990s: YOU DON'T KNOW JACK, Outsmart® and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Today, with over 4.5 million units sold, more than $100 million in revenue, distribution in five countries and over 50 major industry awards, YDKJ is one of the most successful gaming franchises ever. The original Who Wants to Be A Millionaire CD-ROM game was an instant smash and remains one of the fastest-selling CD-ROMs of all time, and the only game to feature a virtual, and anatomically correct, Regis Philbin.

"Finally, there's a big market again for high-end games that doesn't require players to blast everything in sight with a rail gun," said Harry Gottlieb, founder and CEO of Jellyvision and the creator of YOU DON'T KNOW JACK. "We're setting sail on a new and far more ambitious course in the sea of interactive games. We feel very lucky to have Mike Bilder at the helm. And by 'helm' I actually mean 'desk.' We're not really on a ship -- just a regular company... in a building and everything."

Mike joins Jellyvision Games, LLC after spending over eight years at Midway Amusement Games LLC, serving in a number of roles, managing and supporting internal and external development. In his most recent role at Midway, Mike held the position of Chicago Studio Head, overseeing numerous game teams creating critically acclaimed, million-plus-selling titles such as: NBA Ballers, Blitz: The League, John Woo Presents Stranglehold, and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.

"The original game concepts Jellyvision has in the pipeline are fantastic. And they're very, very funny." said Mr. Bilder.

Jellyvision attracts some of the greatest writing and comedy talent in the industry, drawing on the extraordinary improv talent pool in its home base, Chicago.

Mr. Bilder enthused: "In the mid-90s YOU DON'T KNOW JACK blew everyone away. Jellyvision established -- way ahead of its time -- a new genre of interactive entertainment: the Interactive Game Show. Our mission now is to fully explore this genre, using the insane creative talent at Jellyvision, and build huge new brands that run on every platform that makes sense -- the three consoles, PC, mobile, handheld, coin-op, Vegas. And, of course, we're going to start by truly reincarnating YOU DON'T KNOW JACK."

"JACK was one of the first games where people really played TOGETHER," said Mr. Gottlieb, clearly buying his own hype. "We're going to take that much further. Whether you're on the same couch with your friends or playing others over a network, we're going to combine the social dynamics created by great board games, with the thrill and story arc of great television game shows."

And then noted: "Of course, if the games do poorly in focus testing, we'll just add guns and nudity."

About Jellyvision

Founded in 1989, Jellyvision began life creating educational films and software, while doing initial experimentation on human-machine interface in the budding field of multimedia. Based upon that research, it created the enormously successful YOU DON'T KNOW JACK in 1995, modeling the experience of interacting with a game show host. Jellyvision continued its work in interactive games creating Outsmart® (the flagship game show for Microsoft's The Zone) and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire with Disney Interactive (fully produced in an unbelievable 62 days to hit the height of the Millionaire craze).

At the Game Developer's Conference in 1997, Jellyvision first presented The Jack Principles of Interactive Conversation, the underlying philosophy and guidelines for the new form of communication that made its games so engaging. In 2001, as the market for casual games on CD-ROM cooled off, Jellyvision's founder, Harry Gottlieb, started The Jellyvision Lab, Inc. to deploy interactive conversation outside of games. Working with clients, the company modeled the experience of interacting with physicians, teachers, advisors and salespeople, with special focus on the latter two. Under the leadership of president, Amanda Lannert, The Jellyvision Lab helps companies draw online visitors into highly engaging conversations that lead to more motivated prospects and willing customers. Ms. Lannert is also responsible for Healthcare Mentor, Jellyvision's effort to bring interactive conversation to the rescue of the highly confusing health insurance industry.

In August, 2008, with the casual and social game markets taking off again, Mr. Gottlieb rebooted Jellyvision's efforts in games, launching Jellyvision Games, LLC. Its ambitious mission: to utilize interactive conversation in order to fully develop the interactive game show genre, first pioneered by YOU DON'T KNOW JACK. The core of the creative staff includes key talent that developed the original YDKJ and Millionaire franchises. Industry veteran Mike Bilder, General Manager, leads the team.

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