Jackbox Games

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Jackbox Games
Industry Interactive Entertainment
Founded 2008
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois
Key people
Harry Gottlieb
Mike Bilder
Steve Heinrich
Allard Laban
Evan Jacover
Tom Gottlieb
Andy Poland
Products You Don't Know Jack
Number of employees
Website Jackboxgames.com

Jackbox Games (formerly Jellyvision Games) is a Chicago-based video game developer, known for the You Don't Know Jack series (YDKJ) of trivia quiz-based video games. The company was previously incorporated as Jellyvision Inc. until the formal separation of the games development unit from interactive video advertising division, Jellyvision Labs. The company was reincorporated as Jellyvision Games, Inc. in December 2011, and rebranded as Jackbox Games in June 2013.


From 1995 to 1998, Jellyvision published numerous versions of YDKJ for personal computers,[1] and attempted to enter the marketplace with console-based versions of the game, but found these to be unsuccessful.[2] Jellyvision became Jellyvision Labs, working on communication software for business clients.[3]

In 2008, as the popularity of networked consoles and mobile devices became popular, Jellyvision Labs opted to spin out a games division, naming it Jellyvision Games, LLC, headed by Mike Bilder.[4] The new division looked to revitalize YDKJ for these new systems, subsequently releasing an iOS application and, in partnership with THQ, a console version in 2011. Near the end of 2011, the company was incorporated as Jellyvision Games, Inc. Since then, the company has developed a Facebook version of the game, allowing them to continuously provide new trivia; later the product expanded to include a standalone mobile application that allows data sharing and competition with the Facebook version. The game was awarded the "Social Game of the Year" at the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards.

The studio was rebranded as Jackbox Games in June 2013, and announced that it would continue to focus on developing social games for current platforms including mobile devices and home entertainment devices like Roku and Ouya.[5] Versions of YDKJ were subsequently released on both Roku and Ouya, then later on the Amazon Fire TV. During this time, the company introduced a unique feature that allowed the game to be played using smartphones and tablets as controllers, rather than actual game controllers.

Jackbox released more apps including Clone Booth (a humorous photo-manipulation app) and the games Lie Swatter (a find-the-lies game of wacky facts) and Word Puttz (a mini-golf themed word game), before turning its attention back to consoles with its 2014 release of Fibbage: The Hilarious Bluffing Party Game. Fibbage first appeared on the Amazon Fire TV but soon after was released as a digital-only title on Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in September 2014. Fibbage also uses the phones-as-controllers technology, allowing players to type in bluffs to fool other players, and allowing up to 8 players to play in one room (no actual physical controllers are used to play the game). Fibbage is hosted by YOU DON'T KNOW JACK's familiar host, Cookie Masterson.


While the original Jellyvision company created most of the games in the YDKJ series, Jackbox Games are the developers for these entries in the series:

  • YDKJ – February 8, 2011 [6]
  • YDKJ (iPhone/iPad) – 2011[7]
  • YDKJ (Facebook) – May 29, 2012 - Later to include tie-in iOS/Android versions.
  • YOU DON'T KNOW JACK for Ouya (Ouya)
  • YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Party (Amazon Fire TV)

As well as the following apps/games:

  • Lie Swatter - 2013 - mobile game
  • Clone Booth - 2013 - mobile app
  • Word Puttz - 2013 - mobile game
  • Fibbage: The Hilarious Bluffing Party Game - 2014 - on Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3
  • The Jackbox Party Pack - 2014 - on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Steam (PC), Amazon Fire TV and Android TV

The company has announced plans for at least three more upcoming console games - a new YDKJ, a version of Lie Swatter, and a new game called Word Spud - on its weekly Twitch stream.[8]


  1. ^ Teti, John (2011-02-14). "You Don’t Know Jack". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  2. ^ Smith, Ryan (2011-02-09). "Interview: Chicago's Jellyvision Speaks With GameSmith About New "You Don't Know Jack" Game". Chicago Now. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  3. ^ Schiesel, Seth (2011-02-09). "Where Challenges Abound for Fans of Trivia". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  4. ^ McElroy, Justin (2008-08-19). "Jellyvision getting back into the games biz". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  5. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (2013-06-05). "Jellyvision changes name to Jackbox Games" (Press release). Gameindustry.biz. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  6. ^ "THQ Jacks up Video Gamers This Winter with YOU DON'T KNOW JACK(R)". 
  7. ^ "You Don't Know Jack on iPhone App Store". 
  8. ^ http://www.twitch.tv/jackboxgames/

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