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JumpStart Games, Inc.
FormerlyKnowledge Adventure, Inc. (1991–2012)
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
Education
PredecessorDavidson & Associates
CUC Software
Cendant Software
Havas
Founded1991; 33 years ago (1991)
DefunctJuly 1, 2023 (2023-07-01)
Headquarters,
U.S.
Products
Number of employees
201–500
ParentNetDragon Websoft (2017–2023)
Websitewww.knowledgeadventure.com Edit this on Wikidata

JumpStart Games, Inc., formerly Knowledge Adventure, Inc., was an American edutainment video game company based in Torrance, California. Founded in 1991, it was acquired by Chinese holding company NetDragon Websoft in 2017.

History

Former logo as Knowledge Adventure, used from 1993 until 1998 (the animated version used from 1994 until 1998).

Until 1994, Knowledge Adventure had created DOS games.[1] On November 5, 1996, CUC International announced that it would acquire Knowledge Adventure and was completed on February 3, 1997, its Davidson & Associates subsidiary that CUC acquired in February 1996 will later merge with Knowledge Adventure in October 1998.[2][3][4][5]

Former logo as Knowledge Adventure, used from 1998 until 2011.

On May 28, 1997, CUC International announced plans to merge with Hospitality Franchise Systems to create a single, "one-stop" entity.[6][7] The merger was finalized in December that year and created Cendant.[8] As a result of the merger, CUC Software was renamed Cendant Software.[9] On November 20, 1998, French media company Havas (later acquired by water utility Vivendi) announced that it would acquire Cendant Software for $800 million in cash and up to $200 million contingent on the performance of Cendant Software.[10][11] Subsequently, the division was renamed Havas Interactive.[12]

During that time, Knowledge Adventure released many branded games such as JumpStart, Dr. Brain, Fisher-Price, Barbie, Bear in the Big Blue House, Blaster, Teletubbies, Noddy, Jurassic Park III, Captain Kangaroo, Curious George and American Idol.[citation needed]

Knowledge Adventure released JumpStart Baby in 2000.[13]

In October 2004, Vivendi sold Knowledge Adventure to a group of investors interested in taking a more active management strategy, and in developing new educational software. The company has since released new products under both the JumpStart and Math Blaster brands.[14]

Last logo as Knowledge Adventure, used from 2011 until 2012.

In October 2012, Knowledge Adventure changed its name to JumpStart Games.[15]

On March 17, 2014, JumpStart Games purchased Neopets from Viacom.[16]

On July 7, 2017, JumpStart Games was acquired by Chinese online game publisher NetDragon Websoft.[17]

Back-catalog digital re-releases

On November 25, 2014, five Knowledge Adventure titles were re-released digitally as DRM-Free exclusives on ZOOM-Platform.com through a partnership between JumpStart Games and the Jordan Freeman Group. The five titles included 3D Body Adventure, 3D Dinosaur Adventure, Dinosaur Adventure (Original), Space Adventure, and Undersea Adventure.[18]

On March 6, 2015, another Knowledge Adventure title, Bug Adventure, was re-released digitally as a DRM-Free exclusive on ZOOM-Platform.com. This title was also released through the partnership between JumpStart and the Jordan Freeman Group. ZOOM-Platform.com indicated the game was released due to the "incredible reaction" they got to the first batch of Knowledge Adventure titles.[19]

Closure and transfer of Neopets

Final and only logo for JumpStart Games from 2012 until 2023

On June 13, 2023, Jumpstart Games announced the closure of the company and the end of support of all games, excluding Neopets,[20] on June 30, 2023. The company officially closed July 1, 2023 at 3am EST with servers and their website also shutting down. No reason upon the closure was given.

Neopets has been transferred over to Fluffy Dog Studios which was formerly JumpStart Vancouver.[20]

References

  1. ^ "Game Browser » Jumpstart Games, Inc". mobygames.com. MobyGames. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  2. ^ Kaplan, Karen (November 6, 1996). "CUC Will Buy Knowledge Adventure". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  3. ^ Kaplan, Karen (February 10, 1997). "Davidson Founders Make Quiet Exit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  4. ^ "CUC International Completes Acquisition of Knowledge Adventure" (Press release). CUC International. February 3, 1997. Archived from the original on 1997-07-14. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  5. ^ "Knowledge Adventure® Introduces ClassWorks™ Gold, A Revolutionary Classroom Alternative to Integrated Learning Systems and Stand-Alone Software" (Press release). Archived from the original on 2002-03-20. Retrieved 2002-03-20.
  6. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (May 28, 1997). "$11 Billion Merger Plan Would Join HFS and CUC". The New York Times. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  7. ^ "CUC-HFS Merger Deal to Create Strong One-Stop-Shopping Entity". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. May 28, 1997. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  8. ^ Jebens, Harley (April 28, 2000). "CUC Gets Renamed". GameSpot. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  9. ^ "CUC Now Cendant". Game Developer. UBM TechWeb. March 1998. p. 13.
  10. ^ Hansell, Saul (November 20, 1998). "Cendant Said to Near Sale of Software Division". The New York Times. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  11. ^ "Cendant Sells Software Unit". Wired. November 20, 1998. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  12. ^ "Vivendi's High Wireless Act". Wired. December 1, 2000. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  13. ^ Galley, Michelle (May 10, 2000). "Computer Companies Give Birth to 'Lapware' for Babies". Education Week. 19 (35): Section: ACROSS THE NATION. ISSN 0277-4232.
  14. ^ Ron Fahey (October 6, 2004). "Vivendi Universal sells educational games division". Gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  15. ^ "Company Overview of JumpStart Games, Inc". Bloomberg News. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  16. ^ "New Features - 18th March - Illusen Day". Neopets.com. Neopets, Inc. 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  17. ^ Whyte, Alexandra (July 7, 2017). "Neopets owner acquired by China's NetDragon". kidscreen.com. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  18. ^ "Edenwaith : Blog". www.edenwaith.com. Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  19. ^ "ZOOM Announces Exclusive Release of Knowledge Adventure Back-Catalog". November 25, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Jellyneo.net | Neopets Help, Neopets Guides, and Neopets News!". www.jellyneo.net. Retrieved 2023-06-15.