Atari History Timelines by Michael Current

A History of Atari Games Corp. /
Midway Games West

http://mcurrent.name/atarihistory/midwaygameswest.html
Compiled and Copyright (c) 2008-2014 by Michael D. Current
Library Department, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse


TO DO: All licensed ports of Atari Games games

Additions/suggestions/comments/corrections to:
michael@mcurrent.name

Information presented here is verifiable from public primary sources, such as magazine and newspaper articles, press releases, annual reports, and SEC filings.  I have no special access to inside information.

Table of Contents


1985

Atari Games, a division of Namco

February 4, 1985: Namco Ltd. (of Japan) announced that, through USA subsidiary Namco America Inc., it had purchased the tangible assets and the intangible property rights (patents, trademarks, and copyrights) associated with the Atari Coin-Operated Games ("Atari Games") division of Atari Games, Inc. (formerly known as Atari, Inc. until June 30, 1984) from Warner Communications, Inc. (WCI) for a little over US$10 million.  (Upon the sale, the Atari Games, Inc. subsidiary of Warner Communications adopted the new name, Atari Holdings, Inc.)

The sale included the right to use the "Atari Games" trademark on coin-operated arcade games.  (The rights to the "Atari" trademark outside of coin-operated arcade environments had already been purchased by Atari Corp. effective June 30, 1984.)

The sale included the derivative coin-operated arcade market rights to legacy Atari coin-operated arcade game properties created before June 30, 1984.  (The underlying rights to those properties had already been purchased by Atari Corp. effective June 30, 1984.)

The sale also included the full rights (both coin-op and consumer markets) to legacy Atari Games, Inc. games properties created since June 30, 1984.  This included: Return of the Jedi and Marble Madness

Atari's Ireland factory (European coin-op manufacturing and distribution) was included in the transaction.  Mike Nevin remained Managing Director of Atari Ireland.

Upon the purchase, Namco created Atari Games Corp., to operate as a division of Namco America, Inc.

While Namco America would own controlling interest in the new Atari Games Corp. (about 60%), Warner Communications would retain significant minority ownership (about 40%) as well.

Namco logo    Atari Games logo 1985-1996

The new Atari Games Corp. retained most Atari Coin-Op staff (around 230), plus another 70 employees at the factory in Ireland.

Atari Games Corp. location: 1272 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale, CA, USA

Hideyuki Nakajima ("Hide", pronounced HEE-day), head of Namco America since its inception in 1978, and head of Atari Japan prior to that, would now be president of Atari Games Corp.  Dennis Wood, vice president and general counsel for Namco-America since 1/1/1982, would now serve in the same capacity for Atari Games Corp.  Continuing with the company: Lyle V. Rains as vp of creative development; Dave Stubben as senior vice president, engineering; Dan Van Elderen as vp engineering; Kevin Hayes as Vice President, Operations (manufacturing); Shane Breaks as vp of sales.  Namco president Masaya Nakamura appointed himself chairman of Atari Games Corp.

March: Atari Games released The Empire Strikes Back (conversion kit for Star Wars stand-up units).

March: Atari Games senior vp, engineering Dave Stubben, with Atari since October 1976, departed the company.  Lyle Rains, previously vp creative development, became senior vp engineering.

March 27: Atari Games announced 30 layoffs, as well as 5% to 20% pay cuts for management.  The company now employed about 180 people.

April: Atari Games released Paperboy (System II hardware platform).

Month?: John H. Klein, previously of Family Vision Centers, joined Atari Games as CFO.

Month?: Atari Games programmer/designer Mark Cerny departed the company.

July: Atari Games released Peter Pack Rat (System I hardware platform, or conversion kit for System I units), and released Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (System I hardware platform, or conversion kit for System I units).

October: Atari Games released Gauntlet (original 4-player version).

November?: Atari Games new location: 675 Sycamore Drive, Milpitas, CA, USA

1986
February: Mark Pierce joined Atari Games as a designer.

April: Atari Games released Super Sprint (System II hardware platform).

May: Atari Games released Gauntlet (2-player version).

July: Atari Games released Road Runner (System I hardware platform, or conversion kit for System I units).

August: Atari Games released Gauntlet II (new unit, conversion kit for Gauntlet 4-player, or conversion kit for Gauntlet 2-player).

September: Atari Games released Championship Sprint (System II hardware platform, or conversion kit for System II units).

October 30: Mike Taylor, previously of Ryan-McFarland, joined Atari Games as Vice President of Sales.  Shane Breaks, previously vp sales, moved (back) to England to serve as head of European sales (for both Atari Games and Namco; in conjunction with David Smith).

December: Atari Games released 720° (System II hardware platform).

1987

Atari Games, an independent company

Winter? 1987: A group of Atari Games employees, headed by Atari Games president Hide Nakajima, purchased about 1/3 of Namco America's 60% controlling share of Atari Games from Namco, or about 20% of the total outstanding shares of Atari Games.

As a result, Atari Games was now about 20% owned by Nakajima and his associates, about 40% owned by Namco America, and about 40% still owned by Warner Communications.  Thus Atari Games became independent of any controlling share owner.

Atari Games logo 1985-1996

Hide Nakajima then resigned from his position on the Namco board of directors, and from his position as president of Namco America.  Nakajima would now devote his full attention to the management of Atari Games Corp.

February: Atari Games released Rolling Thunder by Namco.

March: Atari Games released RoadBlasters (System I hardware platform, conversion kit for System I units, or Sit-Down version)

May: Atari Games released Dunk Shot by Sega.

June 8: Mindscape announced that on May 29, 1987, it signed an exclusive agreement with Atari Games to publish home computer versions of their line of video arcade games.  The First of the Atari Games titles to be published by Mindscape would be Paperboy and Gauntlet.  Planned Later titles would include: Road Runner, Road Blasters, Gauntlet II, 720°

July: Atari Games released A.P.B. (All Points Bulletin; System II hardware platform), and released Dragon Spirit by Namco.

July 30: Atari Games Corporation and Barrel of Fun, Inc. of Savannah, Georgia finalized an agreement for the sale of Barrel of Fun's entire chain of arcades to a new subsidiary of Atari Games.  Barrel of Fun was founded in 1977 by Herbert C. Skinner, chairman, and Richard W. Adams, President and CEO.

September 1: Atari Games purchased all assets of Barrel of Fun, Inc., owner/operator of the "Barrel of Fun" and "2001 Entertainment Center" chains of video game arcades, located primarily in six southeastern U.S. states.  The acquired arcade operations would now be run by a new wholly-owned subsidiary of Atari Games, named Atari Operations, Inc. 

Atari Games logo 1985-1996     Barrel Of Fun token scan    2001 Entertainment Center token scan

Richard Adams (Dick Adams), formerly President of Barrel of Fun, would now be Vice President of Atari Operations, the top management position for the subsidiary.

September: Atari Games released Atari R.B.I. Baseball by Namco (conversion kit for Nintendo VS. System units).

November: Atari Games released Xybots.

December: Atari Games released Pac-Mania by Namco.

December: Atari Games created Tengen, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, for the purpose of marketing games for home video game systems (where exclusive use of the "Atari" name and "Fuji" logo was owned by Atari Corp.).  The idea had been proposed earlier in the year by Dennis Wood.  Nakajima had come up with the name, Tengen.

Atari Games logo 1985-1996     Barrel Of Fun token scan    2001 Entertainment Center token scan     Tengen logo

Randall Broweleit (Randy Broweleit), previously of Strategic Simulations, Inc., joined Atari Games to head Tengen as Senior Vice President of Operations.

1988
January 1:
Atari Games vp of operations (manufacturing) Kevin Hayes became Executive Vice President of Atari Operations Inc. (AOI), the top management position for the subsidiary.  Reporting to Kevin at Atari Operations would be Richard Adams (previously vp of Atari Operations), Vice President AOI for the U.S. Southern Region, and Satish Bhutani, Vice President AOI for the U.S. Western Region.

January 18: Tengen formally became a Nintendo licensee, clearing the way for Tengen to produce Nintendo-approved games for the NES.

January 28: A Virginia law firm filed an affidavit in the U.S. Copyright Office on behalf of Atari Games, indicating that a copy of Nintendo's 10NES computer code, the software part of the NES lock-out security system that enforced Nintendo's policy that only Nintendo could produce cartridges for the NES, was required for pending proceedings under way in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.  While no such suit had been filed against Atari Games, the 10NES source code was nevertheless delivered to Atari Games.

Winter? Steve Calfee joined Atari Games Vice-President of Product Development, Tengen.

February: Atari Games released Blasteroids.

Spring: Mike Taylor, previously Atari Games sales vp, became sales manager for Tengen.  Satish Bhutani, previously vp Atari Operations for the U.S. Western Region, became the new Atari Games vp of sales.

April: Atari Games released Galaga '88 by Namco (new unit, or JAMMA conversion kit), and released Vindicators.

May 9: Report that Atari Games employed 195 people.

May: Atari Games acquired worldwide exclusive rights to the emerging cult hit Soviet video game, Tetris, from Mirrorsoft.  (Most of Mirrorsoft's legal authority to sublicense rights to Tetris would not hold up in court.  Atari Games would ultimately be left with only the coin-operated arcade rights to Tetris.)

May: Atari Games released Pot Shot (redemption / non-video), and released Final Lap (original Sit-Down version) by Namco.

June: At the Summer CES in Chicago, Tengen introduced (Nintendo-authorized) Pac-Man, Gauntlet, and R.B.I. Baseball for the NES.

June: Atari Games released Toobin'.

Months?: Domark released Return of the Jedi, title by Atari Games, for Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, DOS, ZX Spectrum. (U.K.)

Month?: David Akers joined Atari Games where he would be a software engineer.

July 3: Atari/Ragtimes Enterprises, a joint-venture between Atari Operations and Orlando Businessman Bob Snow, opened the Commander Ragtime's video game parlor and bar (Commander Ragtime's Midway of Fun, Food & Games) on the third floor of the Church Street Exchange shopping emporium in downtown Orlando FL.  Kevin Hayes was executive vice president of Atari Operations.

August: Atari Games released Assault by Namco.

September: Atari Games released Cyberball (2 screens, 4 players).

October: Atari Games released Final Lap (Up-Right version) by Namco.

October 25: Atari Games announced the departure of Satish Bhutani, Vice President of Sales, effective at the end of October.  Shane Breaks, Vice President of International Sales, would fill the vacant position on a temporary basis.  David Smith would fill in for Breaks in European sales.

December 12: Tengen introduced the first independently produced and manufactured Nintendo-compatible video game cartridges: new releases of the Tengen's Pac-Man, Gauntlet, and R.B.I. Baseball. All future Tengen releases for the NES would also ship without authorization by Nintendo.

December 12: Atari Games filed a suit for US$100 million against Nintendo of America Inc. and its Japanese parent, Nintendo Co. Ltd., charging that Nintendo had monopolized the U.S. market for video game cartridges that will play on Nintendo's home entertainment systems.

1989
January 5:
Nintendo announced a countersuit against Atari Games, filed in federal district court in San Francisco, for breach of contract, violation of trademark laws and unfair competition. They also charged conspiracy and RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations).  Nintendo also revoked its licensing agreement with Atari Games.

January 7: At the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Tengen introduced Super Sprint, Rolling Thunder, and Vindicators for NES, all expected to ship in May 1989, and also announced Tetris for the NES.  Also at the show, Atari Corp. announced an agreement with Atari Games that would bring up to 35 Atari Games arcade titles to the Atari Lynx.

February 2: Nintendo of America filed a patent-infringement suit against competitor Atari Games in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.  Nintendo accused Atari Games of patent violation by marketing unlicensed home video-game cartridges for play on the Nintendo Entertainment System.  The suit claimed Atari Games infringed on Nintendo's patented software-security chips (U.S. PATENT NO. 4,799,635) designed to allow only Nintendo-licensed games to play on Nintendo Entertainment System hardware.  The charge was an amended complaint to Nintendo's Jan. 5 lawsuit charging Atari Games and Tengen with trademark infringement, breach of contract and unfair competition.

February: Atari Games released Tetris Kit (original release, for JAMMA units), released Hard Drivin' (original Deluxe Cockpit version), released Splatterhouse by Namco (Printed Circuit Board for JAMMA units), and released Vindicators Part II (conversion kit for Gauntlet units)

February 15: Atari Games and Tengen amended and expanded their Dec. 12, 1988 anti-trust lawsuit against Nintendo of America and its Japanese parent, Nintendo Company Ltd. to include additional anti-trust claims and claims for patent infringement, tortious interference with business relations and trade libel.  The new legal complaints, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, called for an immediate injunction against all future sales of Nintendo products, as well as an injunction against Nintendo's wrongful interference in the business operations of Atari Games and Tengen. The complaint also sought $100 million in treble anti-trust damages, as well as unspecified and substantial patent and punitive damages. Awarded patent damages would be trebled according to federal statutes.  The Atari Games/Tengen lawsuit alleged that Nintendo utilized patented technology in the development of its Nintendo Entertainment System. The technology covered in U.S. Patent No. 4,445,114, "Apparatus for Scrolling a Video Display," (Patent 114) issued to David R. Stubben (of Atari, Inc.) on April 24, 1984, plays an integral role in the function of the NES.  Atari Games/Tengen also alleged in the suit that Nintendo had intentionally misled and deceived existing and potential customers by stating that the sale of Tengen products is a violation of the law and may nullify Nintendo warranties.

March 3: U.S. District Judge Fern Smith in San Francisco granted Atari Games and Nintendo preliminary injunctions against each other, prohibiting Nintendo from filing patent infringement suits against retailers that carry Atari Games' Tengen software, and banning Atari Games from filing patent infringement suits against producers of Nintendo products.  The injunction would be in place until legal disputes between the two companies would be resolved.

March 30: Tengen selected Keye/Donna/Pearlstein, Los Angeles, as its first advertising agency. The account would bill $10 million annually.

April: Tengen revenues for its 1988 fiscal year (ending March 31) totaled about $39 million.

April 3: Dan Van Elderen, previously Atari Games vp of engineering, became Tengen Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President for administration, finance and engineering.  Randall Broweleit, head of Tengen since its inception, would continue with Tengen as senior vice president for sales and marketing.  Engineer Rich Moore (with Atari since 1978) became Atari Games Vice President of Engineering, replacing Van Elderen in the role.  Lyle Rains remained Atari Games senior vp of engineering, and would focus on technological developments.  Robert Sheffield became Atari Games Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, replacing the departing John H. Klein.

April 6: Nintendo announced it would offer the first ever video game developed in the Soviet Union and predicted that the game, called Tetris, would become one of its biggest sellers.  Tetris had already sold more than 100,000 copies for use on home computers in the US and won numerous industry awards.  Nintendo of America said the company had entered into a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement with Elektronorgtechnica (Elorg), the Soviet Foreign Trade Association, to market Tetris.

April 18: Atari Games/Tengen filed a lawsuit charging Nintendo of America and its Japanese parent with infringing Tengen's copyrights in its new home-video game, Tetris.  According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Tengen had the exclusive right to manufacture and distribute Tetris cartridges for use on Nintendo's video-game players, having acquired the rights to Tetris from Mirrorsoft in May 1988.

May: Atari Corp. was joined as a co-plaintiff in the patent infringement action against Nintendo, now entitled Atari Games Corporation, Tengen, Inc., and Atari Corporation v. Nintendo of America, Inc., et al. (Case No. C88-4805 FMS). In its complaint, Atari joined Atari Games in alleging that Nintendo had infringed upon U.S. Patent No. 4,445,114, "Apparatus for Scrolling a Video Display," issued to David R. Stubben (of Atari, Inc.) on April 24, 1984.

May 17: Tengen celebrated the release of Tetris for the NES by holding a lavish reception at the Russian Tea Room in New York, NY.

May 25: Nintendo of America filed a countersuit in federal court in San Francisco charging Atari and its subsidiary Tengen of infringing on the rights to the Soviet game, Tetris.  The court action sought to enforce Nintendo's rights and those of ELORG, a Soviet government agency that licensed Nintendo to distribute Tetris.  U.S. District Judge Vern Smith denied the motion by Nintendo for a preliminary injunction against Atari and Tengen regarding Tetris.  At the same time, the judge denied Tengen's motion to dismiss the suit.  A June 15 hearing regarding the Tetris matter was scheduled.

In another decision, Judge Smith rejected motions by Atari Games and Tengen to dismiss Nintendo's claims of trademark infringement and patent infringement in earlier (Feb. 2) legal action.

June: At the Summer CES in Chicago, Tengen introduced several titles for home computer/gaming platforms (including the Atari ST), including: Blasteroids (licensed to Mirrorsoft), Vindicators, A.P.B., Xybots

June: Atari Games released Hard Drivin' (Compact Upright version), and released Escape From the Planet of the Robot Monsters (new unit, or Universal Kit for JAMMA units)

June 21: U.S. District Court Judge Fern Smith issued a preliminary injunction that barred Atari Games' Tengen Inc. subsidiary from marketing or distributing its version of Tetris for NES.  U.S. retailers who had ordered Tengen's Tetris would be asked to remove the product from their shelves.  Detailed that emerged from the ruling: Nintendo had negotiated directly with Elorg, a Soviet agency, to get a license to make a video-cartridge version of the game.  Tengen had received a license earlier from the British company Mirrorsoft, which had obtained a Soviet license for a computer-game version.  The trial regarding the Tetris matter would begin on November 13.

August: Atari Games released 2-Screen Tournament Cyberball 2072.

September: Atari Games released 1-Screen Cyberball 2072, and released S.T.U.N. Runner (Spread Tunnel Underground Network Runner).

October: Atari Games released 2-Screen Tournament Cyberball 2072 Conversion Kit for Cyberball units.

Fall: Tengen senior vp for sales and marketing Randy Broweleit departed the company.

November: Atari Games released 1-Screen Cyberball 2072 Universal Kit (for JAMMA units), and released Skull & Crossbones (new unit, or Universal Kit for JAMMA units).

November 13: U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Judge Fern M. Smith, cancelled the Tetris trial, instead announcing a summary judgment in Nintendo's favor.  Nintendo was ruled to have exclusive rights to the game of Tetris on the NES, as secured from ELORG.  Tengen's license to Tetris on the NES via Mirrorsoft was ruled to be invalid, and hence Tengen had no right to manufacture or market its version of the game.  The courts ordered all the Tengen Tetris games destroyed.  Atari Games said it intended to appeal the ruling. (It did not.)

November 29: U.S. District Court Judge Fern Smith of San Francisco allowed Nintendo of America to file additional copyright and patent infringement claims against Atari Games and Tengen.  Nintendo's amended complaint alleged that Atari Games fraudulently and unlawfully obtained the copyrighted NES security program from the U.S. Copyright Office and used it in the manufacture of cartridges compatible for play on the NES.  Nintendo's amended complaint alleged that after Atari Games failed in an effort to lawfully reverse engineer the NES security software, the company obtained a copy of Nintendo's security system computer program from the U.S. Copyright Office by falsely representing that it was engaged in copyright litigation with Nintendo involving the program.  Nintendo's amended complaint also charged Atari Games with willful infringement of a second security system patent recently issued by the U.S. Patent Office (U.S. PATENT NO. 4,865,321).  Nintendo said it would seek injunctive relief preventing Atari Games, or anyone acting in concert with it, from manufacturing or selling cartridges for play on the NES that contained microprocessors which infringed Nintendo's copyrighted computer program.

December: Atari Games released Four Trax (original moving version) by Namco.

1990
January: Atari Games released Badlands (new unit, or Universal Kit for JAMMA units), and released 2-Screen Tournament Cyberball 2072 VS. Kit (for Nintendo VS. DualSystem upright cabinets).

February: Atari Games released KLAX (standard upright version, Cabaret version, or Universal Kit for JAMMA units).

March 7: In (897 F.2d 1572) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C. vacated the March 3, 1989 preliminary injunction previously granted against both Atari Games/Tengen and Nintendo by the U.S. District Court in Northern California which enjoined lawsuits against third-parties who dealt in products which may infringe the rights of the patent holder.  As a result, Atari Games was free to sue retailers who sold infringing Nintendo product, and Nintendo was free to sue retailers who sold unauthorized NES Cartridges.

April: Atari Games released Four Trax (stationary version) by Namco.

May 3: "Possible Violations of U.S. Antitrust Laws by Foreign Corporations" hearing before the Subcommittee on Economic and Commercial Law of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, included testimony by Tengen EVP and COO Daniel N. Van Elderen.

May 23: Tengen announced that revenues for its 1989 fiscal year (ending March 31) totaled more than $41 million.  Dan Van Elderen remained Tengen COO.  Theodore M. Hoff (Ted Hoff) was Tengen senior vice president, sales and marketing (having replaced the departed Randy Broweleit).  Tengen so far had 14 titles available on the NES, including Gauntlet, Shinobi, After Burner, and Pac-Man.

June: Atari Games released Gumball Rally (redemption / non-video) and released Hydra (Mini-upright cabinet, or Universal Kit for JAMMA units).

Atari Games, a division of Time Warner

June 26, 1990: Atari Games (on behalf of Time Warner) announced that it would repurchase the entire 43.8% share of the company held by one of its two largest outside shareholders, Namco America.  In return, Namco would receive ownership of Atari Games' Atari Operations subsidiary, which operated more than 40 video game arcades in the Western and Southeastern U.S.  See: A History of the Former Atari Operations

The controlling majority shareholder after the transaction, with about a 79% share of the company, would be Warner Communications, itself now a unit of Time Warner Inc.

Time Warner logo            Atari Games logo 1985-1996          Tengen logo

Hide Nakajima remained president of Atari Games.

Month?: Atari Games designer/programmer Dave Theurer departed the company.

July: At the Summer CES in Chicago Tengen introduced: Ms. Pac-Man for NES and R.B.I. Baseball 2 for NES.  Additional spring/summer 1990 releases: Fantasy Zone for NES and KLAX for NES.

July: Atari Games released ThunderJaws (Universal Kit for JAMMA units).

August: Atari Games released (3-player) Pit-Fighter (original release), and released Race Drivin' (original Deluxe Sitdown version).

August: Tengen released KLAX for TurboGrafx-16.

August: At the ninth annual Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) Show in Las Vegas, Tengen announced the video game industry's first-ever "rent & sell" program.  Commtron Corp., the nation's largest pre-recorded video distributor, agreed to carry Tengen's full line of video games by fall 1990 for more than 25,000 video rental stores.

September: Tengen released KLAX for Genesis.

October: Atari Games released Race Drivin' (Deluxe Sitdown) Kit for Hard Drivin' Deluxe Cockpit units.

November: Atari Games released Tetris (Cabaret version), and released Shuuz (new unit, or conversion Kit for JAMMA units)

December: Atari Games released Race Drivin' (Compact Upright version).

1991
February 4: Jim Flack, previously of ARGOSystems, a subsidiary of The Boeing Company, joined Atari Games as Director of Simulation Products, a new division.

February: Atari Games released (3-player) Rampart (original release).

March: Atari Games released 2-player Pit-Fighter (Universal Kit for JAMMA units).

March 27: Judge Fern Smith of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco granted Nintendo's request for a preliminary injunction against Atari Games, and ordered Atari Games to halt marketing, distribution, and sales of its NES-compatible cartridges. The court also required that Atari Games recall the cartridges.  The Court concluded that Atari Games lied to the U.S. copyright office to obtain a copy of Nintendo's software to assist in making its own version of the program. She said Atari Games told the authorities that it needed the software to defend against a copyright-infringement suit, when in fact Nintendo had not yet sued it on those grounds.  Atari Games would appeal.

April: Atari Games released Batman (Universal Kit for JAMMA units), released 2-player Rampart (Universal Kit for JAMMA units), and released Race Drivin' (Compact Upright) Kit for Hard Drivin' Compact Upright units.

April 11: Judge Fern Smith granted Atari Games a temporary stay of her March 27 ruling to let Atari Games present more information on the financial impact of the decision.

May: Atari Games released Race Drivin' (Panorama version).

May 21: U.S. District Judge Fern Smith suspended enforcement of her March 27 ruling against Atari Games and Tengen for six months or until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the case, after Atari Games said it would close down Tengen and lay off 39 employees unless Smith stayed her order.

June: Atari Games released Road Riot 4WD.

Month?: Atari Games game designer/artist Dave Ralston departed the company.

August: Mike Taylor, previously head of sales for Tengen, (again) became Vice President of Sales for Atari Games, replacing the departing Shane Breaks.  European sales would continue to be handled by David Smith (who had been filling for Breaks in the role).

September 3: Tengen Inc. announced that U.S. District Court Judge Fern Smith had agreed to extend a stay of her preliminary injunction against the company, allowing Tengen to continue making Nintendo-compatible video-game cartridges until it completed an appeal of the ruling. Smith's earlier stay, issued in May, was due to expire in mid-November. Tengen said that it expected to complete the appeal by spring 1992.

September: Atari Games released Steel Talons.

Fall: Tengen released Ms. Pac-Man for Genesis, released R.B.I. Baseball 3 for NES and for Genesis, released Pac-Mania for Genesis, released Pit-Fighter for Genesis, and re-released Pac-Man for NES.

October: Atari Games released Off the Wall (Universal Kit for JAMMA units).

October: Atari Games game maker John Salwitz departed the company.

October 30: Atari Games Corp. and Sega of America announced a strategic alliance. Atari Games and Sega said they would manufacture and market more than 40 software products for Sega video games systems in the United States and Europe over the next two years.  The games would be developed under Atari Games' Tengen software label. They would be compatible with Sega products including its Sega Master system, Genesis and hand-held Game Gear units.

1992
April: Atari Games released Relief Pitcher.

April 27: Tengen announced it would be the exclusive U.S. distributor of Domark Ltd. entertainment software titles for play on the Sega Genesis and Sega Game Gear video game systems.  Tengen would market the products in the U.S. under the Domark brand name as part of its affiliated label program.  Domark was currently serving as sales and marketing representative for Tengen titles on Sega video game systems in Europe and Australia.  In addition, Domark had published Tengen video game titles, such as Hard Drivin', Pit-Fighter and the R.B.I. Baseball series, for personal computer systems in Europe since 1987.

May: Atari Games released Relief Pitcher (Universal Kit for JAMMA units).

May: Robert W. Pittman was one person serving on the board of directors of Atari Games.

June: Atari Games released Guardians of the 'Hood.

Summer: Tengen released James Bond 007: The Duel by Domark for Genesis (USA distribution), MiG-29 Fighter Pilot by Domark for Genesis (USA distribution), Prince of Persia by Domark for Game Gear (USA distribution), and Super Space Invaders by Domark for Game Gear (USA distribution)

July: Atari Games released Guardians of the 'Hood Universal Kit (for JAMMA units), and released Moto Frenzy (original full-motion Deluxe version, 1-player).

August: Rich Moore remained vice president of engineering at Atari Games.

September: Atari Games released Moto Frenzy Mini-Deluxe (2-player version).

September 10: In the copyright infringement suit brought by Nintendo of America Inc. against Atari Games Corp. and its Tengen unit (975 F.2d 832), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. ruled that "reverse engineering" is a legitimate business practice, but that Atari Games had nevertheless infringed on Nintendo's copyrights through other actions.  The federal appeals court ordered Atari Games to stop making and selling its unauthorized Tengen game cartridges for the NES, as originally ruled by the district court on March 27, 1991.  (The district court's order had been stayed since April 11 1991, pending the appeal.)

September 15: Atari Games hardware engineer Jed Margolin departed the company.

September: Tengen released R.B.I. Baseball 4 for Genesis.

Fall: Tengen released Rampart for Genesis.

Fall: Domark released Tengen's Arcade Hits, featuring A.P.B., Escape From the Planet of the Robot Monsters, Hard Drivin' II, KLAX, and Toobin', for PC and for Amiga.

November: Atari Games released Space Lords.

November 20: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a trial judge's ruling against Atari Games and said the Copyright Office had lacked a "rational basis" for refusing to issue a copyright for the game, Breakout, to Atari Games.  Breakout had been created by Atari in 1975 and released in 1976.  Atari Games had sought to formally register Breakout with the US Copyright Office on Feb. 6, 1987, but the Copyright Office refused to register the copyright on the basis that the work "did not contain at least a minimum amount of original pictorial or graphic authorship, or authorship in sounds."  Atari Games' move to register Breakout with the Copyright Office was necessitated by their legal action for copyright infringement against Romstar for Romstar's 1986 Breakout-like arcade game, Arkanoid by Taito.

1993
January 25: Geoffrey W. Holmes was named senior vice president, technology of Time Warner Inc.  Atari Games, a 78 percent owned subsidiary, would also report to Holmes.  Holmes would report to Time Warner Chairman and CEO Gerald M. Levin.

March: Atari Games released Knuckle Bash by Toaplan (Universal Kit for JAMMA units).

May 17: U.S. District Court Judge Fern Smith issued a summary judgment in favor of Nintendo and against Atari Games, ruling that it infringed on a Nintendo patent and copyrighted program by improperly circumventing a security system intended to prevent unlicensed software developers from producing game software for play on Nintendo's home entertainment console, the NES.  The Court accepted Nintendo's accusation that Atari Games had illicitly obtained details of Nintendo's security system from the US Copyright Office in 1987.  Atari Games said they would appeal.  The ruling set the stage for several trials to settle: Atari Games' claim that Nintendo's security system patent was invalid, Atari Games' claim that Nintendo's business violated U.S. antitrust laws, and Nintendo's claim that Atari Games' patent infringement was willful.

June: Atari Games released World Rally by Gaelco (Universal Kit for JAMMA units).

Month?: Atari Games VP Engineering Rich Moore departed the company.  Brad Fuller, previously director of audio, would become director of engineering.

July 29: In a trial held before U.S. District Court Judge Fern Smith in San Francisco, an eight-person federal jury unanimously held that Nintendo's patent related to a security system, granted in 1989, was valid.  Damages weren't set.  Atari Games said it would appeal.  The jury rejected a claim by Nintendo that Atari had infringed its packaging trademarks.  At least two additional trials to settle legal disputes between the two companies remained in the works.

Summer: Tengen introduced Davis Cup Tennis, Gauntlet IV and Awesome Possum, each for Genesis.

August: Atari Games designer Mark Pierce became Senior VP Product Development.  Steve Calfee, previously VP product development (Tengen), would become VP new technology.

October: Atari Games released the Showcase 33 (universal cabinet for kits up to four players).

September: Tengen released Robo Aleste for Sega CD.

November: Tengen released Gauntlet IV for Genesis, released Awesome Possum for Genesis, and released Formula One by Domark for Genesis (USA distribution).

December: Tengen released PGA Tour Golf by Electronic Arts for Game Gear, released Desert Strike by Domark for Game Gear (USA distribution), released F1 by Domark for Game Gear (USA distribution), released Dragon's Revenge for Genesis, and released Race Drivin' for Genesis.

1994
Winter?: The Atari Games employee-owners group, led by president Hide Nakajima, sold their 21% share in the company to the Warner Communications unit of Time Warner, already the owner of the other 79% share.  Atari Games became a wholly-owned (100%) subsidiary of the Warner Communications unit of Time Warner.

March?: Tengen released R.B.I. Baseball '94 for Genesis.

March 24: Nintendo of America and Atari Games jointly announced that they had settled all litigation between them concerning alleged patent and copyright infringements and antitrust violations.  Most terms of the settlement were confidential, however, both parties announced the following: (1) All of the claims of the parties were dismissed, including judgments of patent infringement and copyright infringement previously awarded to Nintendo against Atari Games; (2) Nintendo would receive certain payments in connection with the settlement as well as certain patent licenses from Atari Games; and (3) Atari Games would again become a Nintendo licensee.

March 29: Atari Games acquired 70,000 shares of Atari Corp. Common Stock as license royalty payment for the publishing by Atari Corp. of versions of Atari Games games on Lynx (18 titles), ST (3 titles), 7800 (5 titles), and 2600 (1 title) through December 31, 1993.

April 11: The three units of Time Warner, Time Warner Interactive Group, Atari Games, and Tengen, announced plans to integrate their operations and operate under the common name, Time Warner Interactive.

Use of the Tengen brand would be discontinued in favor of the Time Warner Interactive brand.

The Atari Games brand (as developer/manufacturer) would be used side-by-side with the Time Warner Interactive brand (as publisher/distributor) for coin-operated releases.

Time Warner logo        Time Warner Interactive logo        Atari Games logo 1985-1996

Geoffrey W. Holmes (Geoff Holmes) was chairman and CEO of Time Warner Interactive (since 1993).  Dan Van Elderen, previously head of Tengen, would continue as president of the TWi Games Division (formerly Tengen, in part).  Lyle Rains, previously Atari Games Senior Vice President Engineering, became Chief Corporate Engineer/Senior Producer.

April/May: Time Warner Interactive senior VP-marketing and sales Ted Hoff, with Tengen since 1990, departed the company.

June: Time Warner Interactive released R.B.I. Baseball '95 by Atari Games for 32X.

Month?: Atari Games marketing director Mary Fujihara, with Atari since February 1979, became vice president of marketing.

Month?: Pat Pickham became the new Managing Director of Atari Ireland, replacing the departing Mike Nevin.

July: Time Warner Interactive released T-MEK by Atari Games.

July 11: Passing of Atari Games president Hideyuki Nakajima.

July 12: Atari announced an agreement with Time Warner Interactive (TWi) whereby the Jaguar technology engine would be available for use in Time Warner Interactive's arcade games, and arcade titles developed by TWi on the Jaguar platform would also be available for Atari's Jaguar consumer console.  Geoff Holmes remained CEO of Time Warner Interactive.

August: Time Warner Interactive released Deluxe Showcase 33in. Primal Rage (original release) by Atari Games.

August: Time Warner Interactive released Sylvester & Tweety in Cagey Capers by TecMagik for Mega Drive.

September: Time Warner Interactive released 25in. Upright Primal Rage by Atari Games.

September: Masao Ohata, previously of Jaleco, joined Time Warner Interactive/Atari Games as vice president of international business (outside the Americas and Europe).

October: Time Warner Interactive released Cops by Atari Games.

October: Time Warner Interactive released Battlecorps by Core Design for Sega CD, and released Power Drive Rally for Jaguar.

November: Time Warner Interactive released The Lawnmower Man by SCi for Sega CD and for Genesis, released Rise of the Robots for PC CD-ROM and for PC floppy, released Generations Lost for Genesis, released Red Zone for Genesis and for Mega Drive, released Marko by Domark for Genesis (USA distribution), released PGA Tour Golf II by Electronic Arts for Game Gear, and released R.B.I. Baseball '94 for Game Gear

December: Time Warner Interactive released Soul Star by Core Design for Sega CD, released Rise of the Robots for Game Gear, released PGA Tour Golf II by Electronic Arts for Game Gear (Europe), and released Primal Rage for Jaguar CD.

1995
February: Time Warner Interactive released BC Racers by Core Design for Sega CD.

March: Time Warner Interactive released Primal Rage Universal Kit (for Showcase 33 units, or 2-player upright JAMMA units).

March: Time Warner Interactive released Kawasaki Superbike Challenge by Domark for Game Gear (USA distribution), released Kawasaki Superbike Challenge for Genesis, and released Mega SWIV for Mega Drive.

April: Geoff Holmes resigned as chairman of Time Warner Interactive, as did TWi COO Craig Moody.  The TWi unit would now be overseen by a five-member corporate board managed by Home Box Office (HBO) executive vice president John K. Billock.

May 8: Time Warner Interactive, Inc. (TWi) announced the appointment of Dan Van Elderen as President and COO of the newly-consolidated TWi Games Division, which now included the coin-operated arcade division (Atari Games) in addition to the consumer games group (formerly Tengen, in part).  The TWi Games Division, based in Milpitas CA, employed about 400 people world-wide, including locations in New York, London, Tipperary Ireland, Paris, and Tokyo.

June: Time Warner Interactive released Striker '95 by Rage Software for PC CD-ROM or floppy (both Europe only), released Rise of the Robots for PC floppy, for Amiga, and for Game Gear (all Europe only), released Wayne Gretzky and the NHLPA All-Stars for Genesis, and released Super R.B.I. Baseball for SNES.

Month?: Atari Games Chief Corporate Engineer/Senior Producer Lyle Rains, with Atari since 1973, departed the company.

July: Time Warner Interactive released Striker '95 by Rage Software for PC CD-ROM (rest of world).

August: Time Warner Interactive released Primal Rage for Game Boy, for Genesis, for Game Gear, and for SNES, and released Primal Rage for SNES (rest of world).

September: Time Warner Interactive released Hoop It Up (redemption / non-video) by Atari Games.

September: Time Warner Interactive released Primal Rage for PC CD-ROM (USA & rest of world), for Game Boy (rest of world), and for Mega Drive.

November 13: Time Warner Interactive (TWi) announced the promotion of Stephen Wahid to Director of Product Development for the company's European operation located in Manchester, England.

November: Time Warner Interactive released Area 51 by Atari Games, developed by Mesa Logic, 33" Showcase and 25" versions.

November: Time Warner Interactive released Virtua Racing for Saturn.

December: Time Warner Interactive released Wayne Gretzky and the NHLPA All-Stars for PC CD-ROM and for SNES, released Kawasaki Superbike Challenge for SNES, released Last Gladiators Digital Pinball for Saturn, released Primal Rage for PlayStation and for Saturn, and released Zero Divide for PlayStation.

1996
Winter: Time Warner Interactive released Area 51 Universal Kit (Conversion Kit for Two-Player Upright Games) by Atari Games, developed by Mesa Logic.

February 23: Warner Communications agreed to sell all of the outstanding stock of Atari Games to Williams Interactive Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of WMS Industries, Inc.

March 5: WMS Industries announced that it had entered into an agreement with Time-Warner to buy their wholly-owned TWi-Atari subsidiary.

March?: Time Warner Interactive released Return Fire for PlayStation.

Atari Games, a division of WMS Industries

March 29, 1996: Williams Interactive, Inc., a subsidiary of WMS Industries, Inc., acquired the entire 100% of Atari Games owned by the Warner Communications unit of Time Warner.  (The transaction included the 70,000 shares of Atari Corp. Common Stock acquired on 3/29/94.)

WMS Industries logo     Williams logo     Atari Games logo 1996-2000

Neil D. Nicastro, President and Co-CEO of WMS Industries, became Chairman and CEO of Atari Games.  Louis J. Nicastro was Chairman and Co-CEO of WMS Industries. 

At Atari Games: Dan Van Elderen remained president and COO; Dennis Wood departed the company; director of engineering Brad Fuller would depart the company.

Domestic Atari Games manufacturing would shift from California to the Williams plant in Waukegan, Illinois.

June 26: Neil Nicastro became (sole) CEO, and remained president, of WMS Industries.  Louis Nicastro remained chairman of WMS Industries.

July?: GT Interactive released Return Fire by Williams Entertainment (licensed to Atari Games) for PC CD-ROM (USA).

July?: Williams Entertainment released Ms. Pac-Man (licensed to Atari Games) for SNES (USA).

July 1: WMS Industries transferred 100% of the stock of Midway Interactive Inc. (formerly Williams Interactive Inc.), including Atari Games Corp, to the WMS Industries subsidiary, Midway Games, Inc.

Additionally, WMS Industries transferred out of its Midway Games subsidiary all of the operating assets and liabilities relating to the Bally pinball business previously conducted by Midway Games; WMS Industries transferred the coin-operated video game operating assets and liabilities not previously part of Midway Games from other WMS Industries subsidiaries to Midway Games; and, WMS Industries transferred 100% of the stock of Midway Home Entertainment Inc. (formerly Williams Entertainment Inc.) to Midway Games.

Neil Nicastro was President and Co-CEO of Midway Games.  Louis Nicastro was Chairman and Co-CEO of Midway Games.  Dan Van Elderen remained president/COO of Atari Games.

WMS Industries logo      Midway Games logo      Atari Games logo 1996-2000

July 26: Neil Nicastro became chairman and (sole) CEO, and also remained president, of Midway Games.

September/October: Midway Home Entertainment released Area 51 by Atari Games for Saturn.

September/October: GT Interactive released Area 51 by Midway (Atari Games) for PC CD-ROM.

October: Atari Games released The NHLPA & NHL Present Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey (new unit, or Universal Kit for JAMMA units).

October 18: Media report that the Atari Games European manufacturing facility in Tipperary, Ireland, in operation since it had been established by Atari, Inc. back in 1978, had been purchased from WMS by Namco Ltd.  Atari Games would contract with Namco to continue to supply the Atari Games product to Europe on its behalf.

October 20: Midway Games completed an Initial Public Offering of 5,100,000 common shares of stock at $20.00/share, for $93,700,000. Parent company WMS Industries still held 33,400,000 common shares, or 86.8%, of Midway Games.

Fall: WizardWorks Software released T-MEK by Midway (Atari Games) for PC CD-ROM.

November 14?: Midway Home Entertainment released The NHLPA & NHL Present Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey developed by Atari Games for N64.

November: Midway Home Entertainment released Area 51 by Atari Games for PlayStation.

December: Atari Games released San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing.

December 20?: Midway Home Entertainment released Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1 by Atari Games, developed by Digital Eclipse, for PlayStation, featuring: Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Missile Command, Super Breakout, and Tempest (all properties licensed from Atari Corp.).

1997:
March:
Atari Games released Maximum Force (Showcase 39" or Standard 25" versions) developed by Mesa Logic.

April 15: Agreement between Midway Interactive (formerly Williams Interactive) and Warner Communications settling final terms of the purchase of Atari Games Corp. as originally agreed on 2/23/96 and executed on 3/29/96.

May: Atari Games released Mace: The Dark Age (original 25" Dedicated Game release).

June 16: Atari Games released Mace: The Dark Age (Universal Kit).

June 16: At E3 in Atlanta, Midway Home Entertainment introduced Mace: The Dark Age for the Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation; never shipped on PlayStation (due Sept 97), Maximum Force for Sony PlayStation (due Sept 97), and The NHLPA & NHL Present Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey '98 for the Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation (due Nov 97).

Summer: Atari Games employed about 160 people.

July 14?: Midway Home Entertainment released Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1 by Atari Games, developed by Digital Eclipse, for Saturn, featuring: Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Missile Command, Super Breakout, and Tempest (all properties licensed from Atari Corp.).

August?: Midway Home Entertainment released Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1 by Atari Games, developed by Digital Eclipse, for SNES, featuring: Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Missile Command, Super Breakout, and Tempest (all properties licensed from Atari Corp.).

September: Atari Games released Maximum Force (Universal kit for JAMMA units).

October 1?: Midway Home Entertainment released Mace: The Dark Age developed by Atari Games for N64.

November 8?: Midway Home Entertainment released San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing developed by Atari Games for N64.

November: Atari Games released San Francisco Rush the Rock: Alcatraz Edition (new unit, or conversion kit for San Francisco Rush units).

November 17?: Midway Home Entertainment released Maximum Force by Atari Games, developed by Mesa Logic, converted by Perfect Entertainment, for PlayStation and for Saturn.

December: Midway Home Entertainment released The NHL & NHLPA Present Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey '98 by Atari Games for N64 and for PlayStation.

1998
January: Atari Games released California Speed (Classic 25" or Deluxe 33" versions) and released Surf Planet by Gaelco (Universal Kit).

January: Atari Games Vice-President of New Technology Steve Calfee departed the company.

February 23?: Midway Home Entertainment released Olympic Hockey 98  (Olympic Hockey Nagano '98) by Atari Games for N64.

February 28?: Midway Home Entertainment released San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing developed by Atari Games, ported by Climax Development for PlayStation.

April 1: Midway Home Entertainment announced the release of Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 2 by Atari Games, developed by Digital Eclipse, for PlayStation (USA), featuring: Paperboy, Gauntlet, RoadBlasters, Marble Madness, Millipede (title licensed from Atari Corp.), Crystal Castles (title licensed from Atari Corp.).

Atari Games, a division of Midway Games

April 6, 1998: WMS Industries completed its spin off to shareholders of its entire stake of Midway Games, making Midway Games, Inc. an independent entity.  Atari Games remained a division of Midway Games.  Neil Nicastro continued as chairman, president, and CEO of Midway Games.  Dan Van Elderen continued as president/COO of Atari Games.

Midway Games logo    Atari Games logo 1996-2000

June: Atari Games released Radikal Bikers by Gaelco, and released the Area 51/Maximum Force Duo Kit (Universal kit for JAMMA units, including Area 51 and Maximum Force units) developed by Mesa Logic.

June: GT Interactive released Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 2 by Midway (Atari Games), developed by Digital Eclipse, for PlayStation (Europe), featuring: Paperboy, Gauntlet, RoadBlasters, Marble Madness, Millipede (title licensed from Atari Corp.), and Crystal Castles (title licensed from Atari Corp.).

August: Atari Games released Vapor TRX developed by Blue Shift.

October: Atari Games released Area 51 Site 4 developed by Mesa Logic (Showcase 39" or Standard 25" versions), and released Gauntlet Legends (Deluxe Showcase 39" or Showcase 27" versions).

November 10?: Midway Home Entertainment released Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA developed by Atari Games for N64.

1999
Winter: Midway Home Entertainment released Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 2 by Atari Games, developed by Digital Eclipse, for PC, featuring: Paperboy, Gauntlet, RoadBlasters, 720°, Marble Madness, Vindicators

February: Atari Games released the Area 51 Site 4 conversion kit developed by Mesa Logic.

March 4: Midway Home Entertainment announced the release of 720˚, title by Atari Games, converted by Digital Eclipse, for Game Boy Color.

March: Atari Games released War: Final Assault.

March 17: Midway Home Entertainment announced the release of California Speed, developed by Atari Games, for N64.

April 1: Midway Home Entertainment announced the release of KLAX, developed by Digital Eclipse, title by Atari Games, for Game Boy Color (the first Game Boy title incompatible with the original Game Boy).

April: Atari Games released Road Burners.

April: Atari Games Marketing VP Mary Fujihara departed the company.

May 13: At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, Midway Home Entertainment introduced Paperboy, title by Atari Games, for N64 and PlayStation, to ship fall 1999, and for Game Boy Color, to ship May 1999; and also introduced Gauntlet Legends, title by Atari Games, for N64 and PlayStation, to ship fall 1999.

May?: Atari Games released the Gauntlet Legends conversion kit.

May 21: Namco Ireland Ltd. (the former Atari Ireland) announced the closure of its manufacturing plant.

June 25: Atari Games announced the release of San Francisco Rush 2049.

Month?: Atari Games software engineer David Akers departed the company.

September: Midway Home Entertainment released Gauntlet Legends developed by Atari Games for N64.

Fall?: Atari Games Vice President of Sales Mike Taylor, with Atari Games since October 1986, departed the company.

November 4: Midway Home Entertainment announced the release of Paperboy, developed by High Voltage Software, title by Atari Games, for N64.

November 17?: Midway Home Entertainment released Arcade Party Pak, developed by Digital Eclipse, for PlayStation, featuring: 720°, Rampage, KLAX, Toobin', Smash TV, Super Sprint

2000

Midway Games West, a division of Midway Games

January, 2000: The Atari Games Corp. subsidiary of Midway Games was renamed Midway Games West, Inc.  Games produced by Midway Games West would sport the Midway brand. 

Midway Games logo

Winter: Midway Games released Gauntlet: Dark Legacy developed by Midway Games West (25" or 39" Game Cabinet versions), and released Skins Game developed by Midway Games West.

February 28:  Midway Games West announced that Mark Beaumont had joined the company as Senior Vice President, Business Development.  He was most recently Executive Vice President and General Manager of Psygnosis U.S.

March 30: Midway Home Entertainment released Gauntlet Legends by Midway Games West for PlayStation.

April: Midway Games West Senior VP Product Development Mark Pierce departed the company.

May 18: Midway Home Entertainment released Toobin' by Midway Games West, developed by Digital Eclipse, for Game Boy Color.

June 6: Midway Home Entertainment released Gauntlet Legends developed by Midway Games West for Dreamcast.

Spring/Summer?: Midway Games released the Gauntlet: Dark Legacy conversion kit developed by Midway Games West (for Gauntlet Legends and JAMMA units).

July: Senior Staff Engineer Mike Albaugh, with Atari since March 1976, departed the company.

September 5: Midway Home Entertainment released San Francisco Rush 2049 developed by Midway Games West for N64, for DreamCast, and for Game Boy Color.

2001
January: Midway Games West vice president of international business (outside the Americas and Europe) Masao Ohata departed the company.

March 6: Midway Games reduced its coin-operated video game work force by approximately 60 employees.

May 1: Midway Home Entertainment released Gauntlet Dark Legacy developed by Midway Games West for PS2.

June 22: Midway Games announced its exit from the coin-operated arcade video game market; it would now develop and publish software exclusively for home systems through its subsidiary, Midway Home Entertainment.  As a result of the decision, Midway Games West canceled all development work on new coin-operated games (including Hot Rod Rebels), but would continue operations as a development studio for Midway Home Entertainment.

Month?: Team Play released Classic Arcade: Centipede/Missile Command/Millipede (25" upright) developed by Cosmodog, properties by Atari Interactive, licensed from Infogrames Interactive via Midway Games West.

September 18: Midway Games announced several syndication agreements whereby it would license classic videogames for play on a variety of emerging gaming mediums, including websites, handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones and interactive television. Companies signed into licensing agreements with Midway included iWon, Heavy, RuneCraft, Index, Pocket Express, Terra Mobile-iobox

October 1: Happ Controls acquired assets of Midway Amusement Games' Midway and Atari Games coin-operated videogame parts and service business, and assumed warranty repair operations and all warranty obligations.  See http://www.happcontrols.com/midway/midway.htm

November 15?: Midway Home Entertainment released Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits 2 for Dreamcast, featuring: Gauntlet, Paperboy, 720°, Spy Hunter, Moon Patrol, Rampage

2002
January 30:
Midway Games announced that Mark Beaumont had been promoted from his position at the helm of Midway Games West to the position of Senior Vice President - Publishing for Midway Games.

March 5: Midway Home Entertainment released Gauntlet Dark Legacy by Midway Games West for GameCube.

April 23: Midway Home Entertainment released Gauntlet Dark Legacy developed by Midway Games West for Xbox.

May 22: At E3 in Los Angeles, Midway Games announced Dr. Muto developed by Midway Games West for PS2, Xbox, and GameCube, Nitrocity developed by Midway Games West, and Gladiator: The Crimson Reign developed by Midway Games West for PS2, Xbox, and GameCube.

Month?: Team Play released Classic Arcade: Centipede/Missile Command/Millipede/Let's Go Bowling (25" upright), developed by Cosmodog, 1st three properties by Atari Interactive, licensed from Infogrames Interactive via Midway Games West. (new-release "Bonus Game" Let's Go Bowling developed by Cosmodog)

Month?: Midway Games West game producer/designer Mike Hally departed the company.

August 2: Midway Games announced that a re-make of Area 51 by Midway Games West for PS2, Xbox, and GameCube, was in development in collaboration with Stan Winston Studio.

November 11: Midway Home Entertainment released Dr. Muto developed by Midway Games West for PS2 and for Xbox.

November 25: Midway Home Entertainment released Gauntlet Dark Legacy by Midway Games West for Game Boy Advance.

December 17: Midway Home Entertainment released Dr. Muto developed by Midway Games West for GameCube.

2003
January: Midway Home Entertainment released Dr. Muto by Midway Games West for Game Boy Advance.

Midway Games West, a holding entity of Midway Games

February 7, 2003: Product development at Midway Games West (including previously announced titles Nitrocity and Gladiator: The Crimson Reign) was halted, the remaining 30 employees at the unit (including President and COO Dan Van Elderen) were let go, and the office was closed.  The Midway Games West subsidiary would now exist solely for its intellectual property.

Month?: Team Play released Retrocade Classic Edition: Centipede/Missile Command/Millipede/Let's Go Bowling (25" Upright, 19" Cabaret, or Kit), developed by Cosmodog, 1st three properties by Atari Interactive, licensed from Infogrames Interactive via Midway Games West. ("Bonus Game" Let's Go Bowling developed by Cosmodog)

May 7: Midway Games announced that David F. Zucker had been named CEO and president.  Zucker would succeed Neil D. Nicastro, Midway's chairman who also stepped down as COO.  Nicastro would continue as chairman of Midway's board of directors.  Zucker joined Midway from Playboy Enterprises, Inc., where he was president and COO.

July 3: Midway Games announced Midway Arcade Treasures, to ship in fall 2003.

July 11: Midway Games announced that the re-make of Midway Games West's Area 51 for PS2 and Xbox was to ship in 2004.

September 9: Midway Games announced that Chris Vrenna would score the music for the re-make of Midway Games West's Area 51, to ship in 2004 for PS2 and Xbox.

November 18: Midway Home Entertainment announced the release of Midway Arcade Treasures (1), developed by Digital Eclipse, for PlayStation 2, featuring: Spy Hunter, Defender, Defender II, Gauntlet, Joust, Joust 2, Paperboy, Rampage, Robotron 2084, Smash TV, Bubbles, RoadBlasters, Blaster, Rampart, Sinistar, Super Sprint, Marble Madness, 720°, Toobin', KLAX, SPLAT!, Satan's Hollow, Vindicators, Root Beer Tapper

November 24: Midway Home Entertainment released Midway Arcade Treasures (1), developed by Digital Eclipse, for Xbox, featuring: Spy Hunter, Defender, Defender II, Gauntlet, Joust, Joust 2, Paperboy, Rampage, Robotron 2084, Smash TV, Bubbles, RoadBlasters, Blaster, Rampart, Sinistar, Super Sprint, Marble Madness, 720°, Toobin', KLAX, SPLAT!, Satan's Hollow, Vindicators, Root Beer Tapper

December 17: Midway Home Entertainment released Midway Arcade Treasures (1), developed by Digital Eclipse, for GameCube, featuring: Spy Hunter, Defender, Defender II, Gauntlet, Joust, Joust 2, Paperboy, Rampage, Robotron 2084, Smash TV, Bubbles, RoadBlasters, Blaster, Rampart, Sinistar, Super Sprint, Marble Madness, 720°, Toobin', KLAX, SPLAT!, Satan's Hollow, Vindicators, Root Beer Tapper

2004
February 16: JAKKS Pacific announced that the company had signed a worldwide licensing agreement with Midway to produce a version of JAKKS' TV Games based on classic Midway titles, including the Midway Games West titles: Paperboy, Marble Madness, Super Sprint. (Jakks Pacific Midway Mortal Kombat shipped only)

April 26: Midway Games announced Midway Arcade Treasures 2, to ship fall 2004 for PS2, Xbox, and GameCube.

June 4: Midway Games announced that Neil D. Nicastro would resign as Chairman of the Midway board immediately following the June 10 annual meeting of Midway stockholders.

June 14: Midway Games announced that Kenneth D. Cron was the new Chairman of the Board, replacing Neil D. Nicastro.  David F. Zucker remained president and CEO.

August 26: Midway Games announced that the re-make of Midway Games West's Area 51, to ship in 2005 for PS2 and Xbox, would include the voice talents of David Duchovny, Powers Boothe, and Marilyn Manson.

September: Encore Software released Midway Arcade Treasures (1) by Midway Home Entertainment, developed by Digital Eclipse, for PC, featuring: Spy Hunter, Defender, Defender II, Gauntlet, Joust, Joust 2, Paperboy, Rampage, Robotron 2084, Smash TV, Bubbles, RoadBlasters, Blaster, Rampart, Sinistar, Super Sprint, Marble Madness, 720°, Toobin', KLAX, SPLAT!, Satan's Hollow, Vindicators, Root Beer Tapper

October 11: Midway Home Entertainment released Midway Arcade Treasures 2 for GameCube, for PlayStation 2, and for Xbox, featuring: Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3, Gauntlet II, Spy Hunter II, Xybots, NARC, A.P.B., Cyberball 2072, Timber, Total Carnage, Pit-Fighter, Wizard of Wor, Xenophobe, Primal Rage, Arch Rivals, Rampage World Tour, Kozmik Krooz'r, Championship Sprint, Hard Drivin', Wacko

2005
February 16:
Midway Games announced Midway Arcade Treasures 3, to ship fall 2005, for PS2, Xbox, and GameCube.

February 16: Midway Games announced that the re-make of Midway Games West's Area 51, developed by Midway Studios Austin, would ship for PC in addition to the previously-announced PS2 and Xbox versions, all in April 2005.

February 17: Midway Games announced the new title in the Midway Games West franchise, Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows under development by Midway Games San Diego for PS2, Xbox, and PC, to ship winter 2006.

April 25: Midway Home Entertainment released the re-make of Midway Games West's Area 51 for PS2 and for Xbox.

May 18-20: At E3 in Los Angeles, Midway Games introduced: Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows (PS2, Xbox; Winter 2005), Midway Arcade Treasures 3 (PS2, Xbox, GC; Fall 2005), Midway Arcade Treasures (PSP; would ship as: Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play; Winter 2005)

May 23: Midway Home Entertainment released the re-make of Midway Games West's Area 51 for PC.

August 19: Mark Beaumont departed from his primary position as senior vice president--entertainment at Midway Games, also departing from his position as senior vice president--business development for Midway Games West.

September 26: Midway Home Entertainment announced the release of Midway Arcade Treasures 3 for PlayStation 2 and for Xbox, featuring: Badlands, Off Road Thunder, Race Drivin', San Francisco Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition, S.T.U.N. Runner, Super Off Road, Hydro Thunder, San Francisco Rush 2049

October 24: Midway Home Entertainment released Midway Arcade Treasures 3 for GameCube, featuring: Badlands, Off Road Thunder, Race Drivin', San Francisco Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition, S.T.U.N. Runner, Super Off Road, Hydro Thunder, San Francisco Rush 2049

November 22: Midway Games released Gauntlet, developed by Digital Eclipse, title by Midway Games West, on Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360.

December 12: Midway Home Entertainment announced the release of Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play for PSP, featuring: 720°, Arch Rivals, Championship Sprint, Cyberball 2072, Defender, Gauntlet, Joust, KLAX, Mortal Kombat, Marble Madness, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3, Paperboy, Rampage, Rampart, Sinistar, Spy Hunter, Toobin', Wizard of Wor, Xenophobe, Xybots

December 12: Midway Home Entertainment released the new title in the Midway Games West franchise, Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows for PS2 and for Xbox.

2006
February 15:
Midway Home Entertainment released of Midway Arcade Treasures: Deluxe Edition, developed by Digital Eclipse, for PC, featuring: Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3, Gauntlet II, Spy Hunter II, Xybots, NARC, A.P.B., Cyberball 2072, Timber, Total Carnage, Pit-Fighter, Wizard of Wor, Xenophobe, Primal Rage, Arch Rivals, Rampage World Tour, Kozmik Krooz'r, Championship Sprint, Hard Drivin', Wacko, Badlands, Hydro Thunder, Off Road Thunder, Race Drivin', San Francisco Rush the Rock: Alcatraz Edition, San Francisco Rush 2049, S.T.U.N. Runner, and Super Off Road

February 27: Midway Games announced the new title in the Midway Games West franchise, RUSH for PSP.

May 9: At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, Microsoft announced that Midway Games would bring a suite of classic arcade titles to Xbox Live Arcade, including Paperboy.

November 7: Midway Home Entertainment released the new title in the Midway Games West franchise, RUSH for PSP.

2007
January 29:
Midway Games announced the new title in the Midway Games West franchise, BlackSite: Area 51 under development by Midway Studios-Austin for PS3, Xbox 360, and for PC, to ship summer 2007.

February 14: Midway Games released Paperboy, developed by Digital Eclipse, title by Midway Games West, on Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360.

September 5: Midway Games released Cyberball 2072, developed by Digital Eclipse, title by Midway Games West, on Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360.

November 12: Midway Home Entertainment released the new title in the Midway Games West franchise, BlackSite: Area 51 for Xbox 360 and for PC.

December: Midway Home Entertainment released the new title in the Midway Games West franchise, BlackSite: Area 51 for PS3.

December 21: Midway Games announced that Shari E. Redstone was the new company chairman, replacing the departed Kenneth D. Cron.  (David F. Zucker remained president and CEO.)

2008
March 20:
Midway Games named Matthew V. Booty Interim Chief Executive Officer and President, in place of the departing David F. Zucker.

July 11: Midway Games announced the launch of the online gaming site www.midwayarcade.com.  The initial online game lineup included:  A.P.B., Arch Rivals, Cyberball, Defender, Gauntlet 2, Rampage, Rootbeer Tapper, Spy Hunter, Joust, Primal Rage, Super Offroad, Total Carnage, Wizard of Wor, Robotron: 2084

October 30: Midway Games announced that Matthew V. Booty had been appointed as President and CEO.  Mr. Booty had served as interim president and CEO of Midway Games since March, 2008.

November 7: Midway Games announced that Peter C. Brown was the new Chairman, replacing the departing Shari E. Redstone.

December 1: National Amusements (headed by investor Sumner Redstone) sold its 87% stake in Midway Games to investor Mark Thomas for $100,000 and $70 million in receivables.

2009
January 29:
Midway Games announced its president and CEO Matthew V. Booty was now also the new Chairman, replacing the departed Peter C. Brown.

February 12: Midway Games announced that the company and its U.S. subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

May 20: Midway Games agreed to sell most of its U.S. assets, including its Mortal Kombat video game franchise and its development studios in Seattle and Chicago, to Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., a division of Time Warner Inc., for $33 million, subject to adjustment.

July 1: A Delaware bankruptcy judge approved the $33 million sale of most of the assets of Midway Games to Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Intellectual properties of Warner Bros. Entertainment

July 10, 2009: Pursuant to the Asset Purchase Agreement dated May 20, 2009, Midway Games completed their sale of substantially all of their assets to Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. The aggregate gross purchase price was approximately US$49 million including the assumption of certain liabilities.  The transaction included the entire library of Midway Games West properties.

2010
February 17: Microsoft announced that a handful of Xbox Live Arcade games had been removed from the service, including: Cyberball, Gauntlet, Paperboy

2012
November 6: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced the release, under the WB Games label, of Midway Arcade Origins, developed by Backbone Entertainment, for Xbox 360 and for PlayStation 3, featuring: 720°, A.P.B., Arch Rivals, Bubbles, Championship Sprint, Tournament Cyberball 2072, Defender, Defender II, Gauntlet, Gauntlet II, Joust, Joust 2, Marble Madness, Pit-Fighter, Rampage, Rampart, Robotron 2084, Root Beer Tapper, Satan’s Hollow, Sinistar, Smash TV, Spy Hunter, Spy Hunter II, Super Off Road, Super Sprint, Toobin’, Total Carnage, Vindicators Part II, Wizard of Wor, Xenophobe, Xybots

TODAY: The Atari copyrights/trademarks/patents that were secured by Namco Ltd. from Warner Communications in February 1985, along with all Atari Games Corp. and Tengen intellectual properties created from 1985-2000, and all Midway Games West intellectual properties created from 2000-2009, are owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.: http://www.warnerbros.com/ .  Warner Bros. Entertainment is itself a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.: http://www.timewarner.com/


Additional Tengen releases, introduction/release dates unverified:

for NES:

for Game Gear (Europe):

for Game Gear:

for Genesis

for Genesis (USA distribution):

for Mega Drive (Europe)

for Sega Master System (Europe)

Computer software (USA distribution)

 

Additional Time Warner Interactive releases, introduction/release dates unverified:

for Genesis:

for Mega Drive (Europe)

for SNES (rest of world)

for Saturn (rest of world)

for 32X

Hardware accessories distributed by Tengen for home game systems:


Links


Last updated: 2013.11.17

other updates: 2012.08.22 identify System II systems & redemption games, thanks Vernon Brooks