The launch of The Jackbox Party Pack 10 last month marks a milestone for the Chicago-based Jackbox Games, having released a multi-platform party pack containing five games every year since 2014.
But the studio’s history stretches further back than just the past decade, all the way back to the 90s when it was known as Jellyvision Games, a history that Jackbox Games’ chief creative officer Allard Laban was a part of.
“I was working for Berkeley Systems, which was famous for doing After Dark screensavers, but we worked with Jellyvision to publish a CD-ROM game based on…a HyperCard stack they had created, and I was the original art director on that title,” he tells us.
This was the first version of You Don’t Know Jack, which later became one of the five games included in the inaugural Jackbox Party Pack. It was also the beginning of Laban’s long, beautiful relationship with Jellyvision that'd eventually help the company evolve into Jackbox Games.
Laban didn’t initially make the jump from Berkeley Systems to Jellyvision however. He left the former company to work at Disney. “I was a producer on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, so we did a CD-ROM version of that game [in North America], and I hired Jellyvision to write and produce it,” he explains.
It was after that game he decided to work solely with his recurrent creative partners. “I had so much fun working with Jellyvision again that I quit Disney and moved to Chicago.”
That move came in 2000 as the sixth console generation was arriving, which not only saw a graphical and technical leap in consoles on par with PC but also what he and the studio described as “the dark at the end of the tunnel” for casual games.
A huge drop in revenue led to significant layoffs, reducing the studioRead more on gamedeveloper.com