Tradewest, Inc.

Moby ID: 2784

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Tradewest was founded in 1986 by John Rowe (former Executive Vice President, SNK Corp, Japan's U.S. subsidiary), Leland Cook (banker and rancher) and his son Byron Cook. Tradewest started out by manufacturing SNK's Ikari Warriors arcade game in the United States. This would be one of the few arcade games to be released by Tradewest (along with Victory Road, Alpha Mission and Redline Racer) as the company would shift away from the coin-op business to concentrate on video games for home consoles.

In 1987, Tradewest purchased Cinematronics Inc. of El Cajon, California and renamed it The Leland Corporation. John Rowe was chosen to run the El Cajon office.

Tradewest was acquired by WMS Industries (the owners of the Williams and Midway brands) in 1994, and renamed Williams Entertainment, Inc., thus signalling the end of Tradewest as a company. Williams Entertainment became WMS's home console division.

In 1996, WMS was losing interest in video games and, as such, Williams Entertainment was transferred to Midway who renamed the division Midway Home Entertainment, Inc. Like was the case with WMS, the division served as Midway's foothold to the home console market, which could now develop and publish video games in-house without having to rely on other publishers. Both the Corsicana, Texas, and a new R&D facility in San Diego remained opened within Midway and continued to employ Byron Cook (who became president of Midway Home Entertainment) and John Rowe (who became Vice-Chairman and Director of Product Development) developing and publishing games for Nintendo, Microsoft X Box, Sony Playstation and the PC. Both Byron Cook and John Rowe left Midway in 2001.

Some of the many award winning games developed and published by Tradewest and Midway Games includes, Ikari Warriors, John Elway's Quarterback, Magic Johnson's Fastbreak, Super Off-Road, Battletoads, Double Dragon, Mortal Kombat, NFL Blitz, NBA Showtime, Doom 64, Cruisin USA, Ready to Rumble and Hydro Thunder.

In 2009 the company came in the picture again when Spiess Media Holding, the company of Midway's former international executive vice president, announced to have acquired the brand. Since the main Midway company had run into trouble and filed for bankruptcy in February 2009, Spiess Media Holding bought out the French and UK office Midway Games SAS and Midway Games Ltd. (completed on 20th August 2009) and rebranded them the day after using the Tradewest name, as Tradewest Games SAS and Tradewest Games Ltd. respectively.

Credited on 35 Games from 1985 to 1994

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Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls (1994 on SNES, Genesis, Jaguar)
Troy Aikman NFL Football (1994 on SNES, Genesis, Jaguar)
Plok (1993 on SNES)
Super Off Road: The Baja (1993 on SNES)
Battletoads / Double Dragon (1993 on Game Boy, SNES, Genesis...)
Battletoads in Battlemaniacs (1993 on SNES, SEGA Master System)
Fun 'N Games (1993 on SNES, Genesis)
Pro Quarterback (1992 on SNES, Genesis)
Super Double Dragon (1992 on SNES, Windows)
Jack Nicklaus Golf (1992 on Game Boy)
R.C. Pro-Am II (1992 on NES)
Battletoads (1991 on Game Boy)
Super Baseball 2020 (1991 on SNES, Genesis, Neo Geo...)
High Speed (1991 on NES)
Battletoads (1991 on Game Boy, Genesis, Amiga...)
Sneaky Snakes (1991 on Game Boy)
Battletoads (1991 on Dedicated handheld)
Danny Sullivan's Indy Heat (1991 on Amiga, NES, Atari ST...)
Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone (1991 on Dedicated handheld)
Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship (1990 on NES, Arcade)

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History +


company acquired by the Williams/Bally/Midway parent company


The company is renamed Williams Entertainment, Inc.


The company acquires Cinematronics Inc. and renames it The Leland Corporation.


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