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Tradewest, Inc.
Industry video game industry
Fate Merged into Williams and later Midway
Successor Williams Entertainment (1994–1996)
Midway Home Entertainment (1996–2009)
Tradewest Games SAS
Founded 1986
Defunct 1994
Headquarters Corsicana, TX, USA
Key people
Leland Cook, founder
Byron Cook, co-founder
Products video games
Subsidiaries Leland Corporation

Tradewest was an American video game company based in Corsicana, Texas that produced numerous games in the 1980s and early 1990s. The company was best known as the publisher of the Battletoads and Double Dragon series in North America and the PAL region.

The Tradewest name was revived in August 2009 by Midway Games's former European subsidiaries which rebranded themselves as Tradewest Games. They inherited the name from the American parent company which owned the Tradewest trademark.


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, along with Victory Road, Alpha Mission and developed their own Redline Racer, John Elway's Quarterback and Ivan 'Ironman' Stewart's Super Off Road, as the company would shift away from the coin-op arcade game business to concentrate on the home console market.

In 1987, Tradewest purchased Cinematronics (video game developer and manufacturer) of El Cajon, California whose previous games included Dragon's Lair and Space Ace and renamed it The Leland Corporation. John Rowe was chosen to run the El Cajon office as he already had a successful history in video games as executive vice-president of SNK's U.S division.

Tradewest was acquired by WMS Industries (the owners of the Williams and Midway brands) in April 1994, and a new company called Williams Entertainment, Inc. was formed with Rowe and the two Cooks as its heads,[1] thus signaling the end of Tradewest as a company. Williams Entertainment became WMS's official division and entrance to the video game console market. 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 it was the case with WMS, the division served as Midway's foothold to the home console market, who could now publish video games in-house without having to rely on other publishers (such as, famously, Acclaim Entertainment). 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 Game Cube, Xbox, Sony PlayStation and the PC.


  • Midway's head office in Chicago shut down the Corsicana location and terminated its staff in late 2002.
  • The El Cajon location moved to nearby San Diego, California and became the only office for Midway Home Entertainment.
  • Byron Cook has left video games for politics at the end of the year 2000. He is a Republican State Representative in Texas for the Corsicana district.
  • John Rowe was the founder, president and CEO of High Moon Studios (formerly Sammy Studios) until 2001. John Rowe continues to be an award winning photographer who spends much of his time in Africa and Asia photographing disappearing indigenous people and cultures.[2]
  • The Tradewest name was revived in 2009 by the former Midway UK and France publishing divisions following a management buyout.[3]

List of games published[edit]



Game Boy[edit]

Super NES[edit]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Midway Takes Project Reality to the Arcades, Williams Buys Tradewest". GamePro (59). IDG. June 1994. p. 182. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Brice, Kath (2009-08-21). "Midway rebranded Tradewest Games by new owner". Eurogamer Network Ltd. Retrieved 2009-08-21.