WMS History

The main subsidiaries that are operating for the Las Vegas-based WSM Industries Inc. are WSM Gaming and Williams Interactive. Harry E. Williams formed the company as WMC back in 1943 and got renamed to Williams Electronics Inc. in 1974.

In 1958, the company changed its name and began to be referred to as “Williams Electronic Manufacturing Company”. They were now producing pinball games using electromechanical systems, and they were the biggest name in the industry. By 1972, the company continued to produce pinball tables. That year, Atari released the world’s first game console to the market. Because of this success, Williams decided to enter this industry too. In 1974, they developed their first console game for Atari:  Paddie-Ball. In 1980, they developed the legendary “Defender” game. With the use of dynamic colors and numerous interrelated level designs, Defender has inspired many modern computer games.

After launching successful Atari games such as Robotron, Sinistar, Joust, and Moon Patrol; WMS founded another company to develop new games: Midway. Until 1996, WMS continued to produce pinball tables and Midway to develop computer games. Midway was a very successful company, and his portfolio consisted of many famous games such as Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam.

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As you know, WMS Industries is the parent company of WMS Gaming. Thus, it has roots dating back to WMC which started in 1943. For the past few years before the 2000’s, Williams was popularly known for making the classic arcade games and pinball machines. It later transferred its array of video slots to Midway Games and was then taken public, after which the company separated its business later on in the 1990’s. During this period, there was a rapid decline in the sector of arcade games. Therefore, the pinball business incurred losses, and therefore, in 2000 WMS decided to sell it.

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