Midway Games

From Sega Retro


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Midway Games
Founded: 1958 (as Midway Manufacturing)
Defunct: 2010-06-09
Merged with: Williams Entertainment (1996)
Merged into: Bally (1969)
3401 N. California Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60618, United States[1]

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Midway Games, Inc. was a video game developer and publisher.


Midway was founded in 1958 as Midway Manufacturing Co. as an independent manufacturer of amusement equipment. In 1969 it was acquired by Bally Manufacturing, which was a dominant force in the slot machine market, however the two continued to run as separate entities in the Bally family.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s Midway produced electro-mechanical arcade machines, but by 1973 the company was beginning to take an interest in the burgeoning video games market. Midway got its big break when it acquired the license to distribute Japanese arcade games from the likes of Namco and Taito in North America, including Space Invaders and Pac-Man. Midway would also produce its own video games, most notably the unauthroized modification to Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man.

In 1982, Midway became Bally Midway Manufacturing Co., Inc. after it was merged with Bally's pinball division. After the summer of 1983[2] Bally Midway purchased Sega Electronics (formerly Gremlin Industries) for an undisclosed price[3]. Bally Midway became the exclusive North American distributor of Sega arcade games for a short period because of this, before Sega re-entered the market to distribute their games themselves.

Bally sold Bally Midway to WMS Industries in 1988 and its name was changed back to Midway Manufacturing Co. Despite this, the Bally name would continue to be used for WMS' pinball machines. A few years later Midway would create Mortal Kombat, a video game that would become one of the main subjects of American congressional hearings on video games.

In 1996, WMS purchased Time Warner Interactive (which owned Atari Games). Time Warner Interactive was merged into Williams Entertainment which then became Midway Home Entertainment. Midway Games split from WMS Industries in 1998; Midway gained Williams' arcade game properties while Williams gained Midway's pinball properties.

Their output started to decline in the 2000s — and their bottom line plummeted, leading to their bankruptcy in 2009. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment currently owns most of their IP assets.


System 1


Master System

Mega Drive

Game Gear





Atari 2600

Amstrad CPC

  • Tapper (1984) (as Bally Midway)

Apple II

  • Tapper (1984) (as Bally Midway)

Atari 8-bit family

BBC Micro

Commodore 64


ZX Spectrum