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Jellyvision Returns To Game Biz With Bilder

Jellyvision Returns To Game Biz With Bilder

August 19, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander

August 19, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander
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More: Console/PC

Jellyvision, developer of You Don't Know Jack and other trivia titles back in the '90s, says it's making a return to the games biz with former Midway Chicago studio head Mike Bilder heading up the studio.

Bilder, who left Midway after eight years amid a recent rash of layoffs at that company, says the newly-relaunched studio will work within the "Interactive Game Show" genre.

"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,," says Bilder. "And, of course, we're going to start by truly reincarnating You Don't Know Jack."

The original You Don't Know Jack, the company says, sold more than 4.5 million units and earned more than 100 million in revenue. Jellyvision also produced a Who Wants to Be A Millionaire CD-ROM game it says was one of the fastest-selling games of all time featuring a virtual -- "and anatomically correct" -- Regis Philbin.

Bilder also says Jellyvision has original concepts in the pipeline that he finds "very, very funny," and the company plans to draw on comedic writing talent from its home base in Chicago.

Jellyvision founder and CEO Harry Gottlieb says he feels "lucky" to have 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."

Gottlieb says the studio plays to take group play "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."

He adds, "Of course, if the games do poorly in focus testing, we'll just add guns and nudity."

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