Gremlin Industries

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Gremlin Industries
IndustryVideo games
Founded1971; 51 years ago (1971)
FounderFrank Fogleman, Carl Grindle
Defunct1983; 39 years ago (1983)
FateFolded into Bally Manufacturing
HeadquartersSan Diego, California
ProductsVideo game software
ParentSega

Gremlin Industries was an American arcade game manufacturer active from 1971 to 1983 based in San Diego, California, USA. Following its acquisition by Sega in 1978, the company was known as Sega/Gremlin or Gremlin/Sega. The company's name was subsequently changed to Sega Electronics in 1982, before the company closed in 1983.

History[edit]

Gremlin was founded in 1971 as a contract engineering firm by Harry Frank Fogleman and Carl E. Grindle.[1] The duo had intended to name the company after themselves as "Grindleman Industries," but an employee of the Delaware Secretary of State's office misheard the name over the phone, so the company was incorporated as Gremlin instead.[2] In 1973, Gremlin became a manufacturer of coin-operated wall games with their first game Play Ball (1973).[3] Gremlin joined the video game industry in 1976 by releasing its first video arcade game entitled Blockade (1976).[4]

In 1978, Gremlin was acquired by Sega Enterprises Inc. and their games acquired the label of Gremlin/Sega or Sega/Gremlin.[5] Following the Sega purchase, Gremlin began to release games from both Sega and other Japanese companies. Among these video games were Namco's Gee Bee (1978), Nichibutsu's Moon Cresta and Super Moon Cresta (both 1980) Nintendo's Space Firebird (1980), and Konami's Frogger (1981).

In 1982, the name of the company was changed to Sega Electronics to better strengthen the Sega brand name in the United States.[6] They distributed Sega's Champion Baseball in North America, becoming one of their best-performing arcade video games in 1983. However, the golden age of arcade video games was coming to an end that year. In mid-1983, the arcade assets of the company were sold to Bally Manufacturing and Sega Electronics was shuttered soon afterwards. Through the purchase, Bally Midway acquired Sega Laserdisc arcade technology for laserdisc video games.[7]

The company was renamed Ages Electronics as a subsidiary of CBS, then ViacomCBS.[1]

Video games[edit]

Produced[edit]

Title Released
Blockade 1976
Safari 1977
Comotion 1977
Depthcharge 1977
Hustle 1977
Blasto 1978
Frogs 1978
Deep Scan 1979
Fortress 1979
Head On 1979
Head On 2 1979
Invinco! 1979
Carnival 1980
Digger 1980
Astro Blaster 1981
Space Odyssey 1981
Eliminator 1981
Pulsar 1981
Space Fury 1981
Star Trek 1982
Tac/Scan 1982
Zektor 1982
Battle Star Cancelled
Ixion Cancelled
Pig Newton Cancelled
Razzmatazz Cancelled

Distributed[edit]

Title Licensed from Released
Gee Bee Namco 1978
Moon Cresta Nichibutsu 1980
Space Firebird Nintendo 1980
Super Moon Cresta Nichibutsu 1980
Frogger Konami 1981

Ports[edit]

Sega released emulated and playable versions of some of the early Sega/Gremlin arcade games as vault material for the Sega Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "| California Secretary of State". businesssearch.sos.ca.gov. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  2. ^ Smith, Alexander (2019). They Create Worlds: The Story of the People and Companies That Shaped the Video Game Industry, Volume I. CRC Press. p. 306. ISBN 9781138389908.
  3. ^ Smith, Keith (2015-09-20). "The Golden Age Arcade Historian: The Ultimate (So-Far) History of Gremlin Industries Part 1". The Golden Age Arcade Historian. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  4. ^ Smith, Keith (2015-09-25). "The Golden Age Arcade Historian: The Ultimate (So-Far) History of Gremlin Industries Part 2". The Golden Age Arcade Historian. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  5. ^ Smith, Keith (2015-10-10). "The Golden Age Arcade Historian: The Ultimate (So-Far) History of Gremlin Industries Part 3". The Golden Age Arcade Historian. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  6. ^ Ken Horowitz, The Sega Arcade Revolution : A History in 62 Games, McFarland, July 2018, 310 p. (pp.68)
  7. ^ Adlum, Eddie (November 1985). "The Replay Years: Reflections from Eddie Adlum". RePlay. Vol. 11, no. 2. pp. 134-175 (168-70).