Jellyvision was founded in 1989 under the name Learn Television to create films - no, not those kinds of films - children's films. In 1991, Learn Television released the award-winning film "The Mind's Treasure Chest™," a comedic feature-length educational film that teaches students to think for themselves. The film was in distribution to schools in five countries and took the highest honor for grades seven through 12 at the National Educational Film and Video Festival. Our roots in film have shaped our approach for writing, character development, pacing and staging.
Despite the film's success, Learn Television sought to move beyond the passive experience offered by the medium of film. New multimedia technologies presented an opportunity to create a more active learning experience. Using the lead character of "The Mind's Treasure Chest," Jack Patterson, as host, Learn Television partnered with the Follett Software Company and developed THAT'S A FACT, JACK®!, a reading motivation CD-ROM game show series covering young adult fiction. TFJ is, at its core, an educational interactive game show targeting 3rd through 10th graders.
With TFJ in development, Jellyvision decided to test the waters of mainstream interactive entertainment by beginning a partnership with Berkeley Systems and developing the game YOU DON'T KNOW JACK.
Released in the fall of 1995, YDKJ became an instant best seller and redefined the trivia game market for adults with its direct-response interactivity and snarky fusion of high culture and pop culture. 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.
In 1996, the company's name was changed to Jellyvision in response to the expansion of product lines beyond education.
In 1999, we brought a virtual Regis Philbin to life by designing and developing the original Who Wants To Be A Millionaire CD-ROM for Disney Interactive. An instant smash, it remains the fastest-selling CD-ROM of all time. We later developed WWTBAM Second Edition, which launched in the spring of 2000, also to record sales.
In 2001, Jellyvision partnered with Microsoft to develop Outsmart®, the flagship game show for www.zone.com. Outsmart pits players in head-to-head action against their favorite celebrities. We also partnered with Michael Davies, the executive producer who imported and developed the TV show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, to launch a television show based on Jellyvision's latest game invention, SMUSH. SMUSH launched in early 2002 on the USA Network.
It soon became clear that Jellyvision had two distinct business models on its hands: one focused on creating award-winning interactive games and another employing interactivity to communicate complex subjects. In order to maintain its focus on interactive entertainment, Jellyvision gave birth to The Jellyvision Lab, a new company whose primary mission was to begin to shift the focus of the web from "navigation" to "conversation," and look beyond the virtual game show host to include virtual teachers, insurance agents, salespeople, you name it.
Today, both companies happily coexist with their separate but equal goals of creating people, instead of pages, and proving that we can all be a lot more effective at selling, servicing, teaching and entertaining - truly connecting and persuading at an individual level - by employing a more thoughtful approach and more innovative design.