WMS Industries Inc.

Also Known As +

  • Williams Electronics, Inc. - company name until April 16, 1987

Overview edit · view history

The company name Williams Electronics, Inc. was used since at least 1967 on flyers for electro-mechanic arcade machines. It is unknown to what exact entity this refers to as Williams Electronics, Inc. was incorporated in 1974 (Illinois). This may originate from the purchase of Williams Manufacturing by Seeburg Corporation in 1964. The name was changed to WMS Industries Inc. in 1987, shortly after Williams Electronic Games Inc. was formed to take over the arcade and pinball business.

WMS Industries and Williams Electronic Games Inc. made headline news with their $8 million acquisition of Bally Midway Manufacturing Co., Inc. in 1988. The purchase included all of Bally Midway's coin-operated amusement game manufacturing business. More importantly for the videogame industry, it also included Midway, which had become very successful in the development of coin-operated arcade games as well as videogames. Midway Manufacturing Company was incorporated and added to the WMS group of subsidiaries at this time. In 1992, Williams began to manufacture pinball machines with the Bally name after acquiring the exclusive name rights.

In 1994, WMS Industry purchased Tradewest and formed Williams Entertainment Inc. which published, developed and distributed their own unique games as well as those made by their fellow subsidiary Midway Games.

Then in 1996 WMS Industries acquired Time-Warner Interactive Inc., which included Atari Games. It is believed that this purchase kick-started the 1996 formation of Midway Home Entertainment Inc., a division of Midway Games Inc. Williams Entertainment Inc. was merged into the new corporation and an Atari Games Division was formed. In 1998 Midway Games Inc. was spun off and sold to its stockholders to become independently owned and operated.

In Oct. 1999, WMS Industries announced to shut down all pinball operations and the Atari Games division to focus on slot machine development.

Credited on 17 Games from 1973 to 1995

Arcade Classic 4: Defender/Joust (1995 on Game Boy, Game Boy Color)
Aeroboto (1984 on NES, MSX, Wii...)
MotoRace USA (1983 on NES, SG-1000, Arcade...)
Blaster (1983 on Arcade)
Moon Patrol (1982 on PC Booter, Atari ST, Commodore 64...)
Bubbles (1982 on Arcade, Browser, Antstream)
Joust (1982 on PC Booter, Lynx, NES...)
Robotron: 2084 (1982 on PC Booter, Lynx, Atari ST...)
Sinistar (1982 on Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, Palm OS...)
Splat! (1982 on Arcade)
Make Trax (1981 on Arcade)
Defender (1981 on PC Booter, Commodore 64, Atari 2600...)
Stargate (1981 on PC Booter, NES, Commodore 64...)
Road Champion (1977 on Arcade)
Paddle-Ball (1973 on Arcade)
Pro Tennis (1973 on Arcade)
Pro-Hockey (1973 on Arcade)

History +


WMS Industries acquires Tradewest and forms Williams Entertainment Inc.


Bally Entertainment Incorporated sells the rights to the Bally name to WMS Industries for pinball machines.

July 10th, 1987

Williams Electronic Games Inc. purchases the coin-operated amusement game manufacturing business Bally Midway Manufacturing Co., Inc.

April 16th, 1987

The company changes its name to WMS Industries, Inc.

December 30th, 1974

The company is founded.

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