Steve Jackson Games
Company typePrivate
IndustryGame publisher
FounderSteve Jackson
United States
Key people
Steve Jackson
ProductsMunchkin, Chez Geek, Car Wars, Ogre, GURPS
RevenueUS$6.6 million gross[1] (2015)
OwnerSteve Jackson
Number of employees
43 full time (2015)[1]

Steve Jackson Games (SJGames) is a game company, founded in 1980 by Steve Jackson, that creates and publishes role-playing, board, and card games, and (until 2019) the gaming magazine Pyramid.


Founded in 1980, six years after the creation of Dungeons & Dragons, SJ Games created several role-playing and strategy games with science fiction themes.[2] SJ Games' early titles were microgames initially sold in 4×7 inch ziploc bags, and later in the similarly sized Pocket Box.[3] Games such as Ogre, Car Wars, Illuminati, and G.E.V (an Ogre spin-off) were popular during SJ Games' early years. Game designers such as Loren Wiseman and Jonathan Leistiko have worked for Steve Jackson Games.[4]

Today SJ Games publishes a variety of games, such as card games, board games, strategy games, and in different genres, such as fantasy, sci-fi, and gothic horror. They also published the book Principia Discordia, the sacred text of the Discordian religion.

Raid by the Secret Service

Main article: Steve Jackson Games, Inc. v. United States Secret Service

On March 1, 1990, the Secret Service raided the offices of Steve Jackson Games,[5] seizing three computers, two laser printers, dozens of floppy disks, and the master copy of GURPS Cyberpunk; a genre toolkit for cyberpunk games, written by Loyd Blankenship, an employee at the time.[6] The Secret Service believed that Blankenship had illegally accessed Bell South systems, and uploaded a document possibly affecting 9-1-1 systems onto Steve Jackson Games's public bulletin board system and/or another board known as Phoenix which he also administered;[7] and, furthermore, that GURPS Cyberpunk would help others commit computer crimes.[8] During their investigation, the Secret Service also read (and deleted) private emails on one of the computers.[9] Though the materials were later returned in June, Steve Jackson Games filed suit in federal court, winning at trial.

The raid led to the formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was founded in July 1990.[2][10]

Kickstarter project

In April–May 2012, Steve Jackson Games ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for a new "Designer's Edition" of Ogre.[11][12] The final game was planned to weigh 14 pounds or more, partly because the high level of extra funding achieved in the Kickstarter enabled significant game additions.[13]

Games published

Steve Jackson Games' main product line, in terms of sales, is the Munchkin card game, followed by the role-playing system GURPS.[14]

Card games

Board games

Role-playing games


Computer games

Dice games


Publication history

Gaming magazines produced by Steve Jackson Games have included:[15]

Mentions in third-party media

In Uplink, a 2001 computer hacking simulation game by British software company Introversion Software, there is a company named Steve Jackson Games. While this company may occasionally offer hacking contracts to the player, its main feature is a Public Access Server which, if accessed, displays the following information:

Steve Jackson Games

Public Access Server


This computer system has been seized
by the United States Secret Service
in the interests of National Security.

Your IP has been logged.

This jokingly refers to the 1990 raid by the US Secret Service. As noted in the Ultimate Uplink Guide, this was "put into the game because of the Secret Service Raid on the company, for supposedly making a 'Hacking Guide'. This guide was actually a work of total fiction for a game the company was making, and contained technology that didn't even exist".[16]


  1. ^ a b Jackson, Steve. "Report to the Stakeholders: 2015". Steve Jackson Games. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Gross, Joe. "FnordCon celebrates 39 years of Steve Jackson Games". Austin 360. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  3. ^ "The Maverick's Classic Microgame Museum". Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  4. ^ "Loren WISEMAN 1951 - 2017 - Obituary". Austin American-Statesman. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 2020-08-27 – via
  5. ^ Markoff, John (June 3, 1990). "Drive to Counter Computer Crime Aims at Invaders". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  6. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (September 9, 1990). "The Executive Computer; Can Invaders Be Stopped but Civil Liberties Upheld?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  7. ^ Peterson, John (2015-05-08). "Your cyberpunk games are dangerous". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  8. ^ McGuire, Morgan; Jenkins, Odeste Chadwicke (2009). Creating games: mechanics, content, and technology. Wellesley, Mass.: A K Peters. p. 506. ISBN 9781568813059. OCLC 212627362.
  9. ^ Giallonardo, Nicole (Fall 1995). "Steve Jackson Games v. United States Secret Service: The Government's Unauthorized Seizure of Private E-mail Warrants More Than the Fifth Circuit's Slap on the Wrist". John Marshall J. Inf. Technol. Priv. Law. 14 (1): 179–208.
  10. ^ Sterling, Bruce (1993). The hacker crackdown : law and disorder on the electronic frontier. New York: Bantam. ISBN 055356370X. OCLC 30469826.
  11. ^ James, Geoffrey (May 8, 2012). "Crowdfunding Lessons from a Kickstarter Success".
  12. ^ Kuchera, Ben (May 9, 2012). "Steve Jackson's Ogre wins at Kickstarter: more games will be printed, and each game will be better". Penny Arcade Report.
  13. ^ "Ogre Designer's Edition". Kickstarter.
  14. ^ Steve Jackson Games 2007 Report to the Stakeholders from SJGames' official website
  15. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. pp. 102–113. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  16. ^ The Ultimate Uplink Guide. Retrieved 2014-10-07.