The transcriptional repressor Blimp-1 mediates the terminal differentiation of many cell types, including T cells. Here we identified Hobit (Znf683) as a previously unrecognized homolog of Blimp-1 that was specifically expressed in mouse natural killer T cells (NKT cells). Through studies of Hobit-deficient mice, we found that Hobit was essential for the formation of mature thymic NKT cells. In the periphery, Hobit repressed the accumulation of interferon-γ (IFN-γ)-producing NK1.1(lo) NKT cells at steady state. After antigenic stimulation, Hobit repressed IFN-γ expression, whereas after innate stimulation, Hobit induced granzyme B expression. Thus, reminiscent of the function of Blimp-1 in other lymphocytes, Hobit controlled the maintenance of quiescent, fully differentiated NKT cells and regulated their immediate effector functions.