Tradewest

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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 Holding
(2009–2013)
Founded 1985
Defunct 1994
Headquarters Corsicana, TX, USA
Key people
Leland Cook, founder
Byron Cook, co-founder
Products video games
Subsidiaries Leland Corporation
Website www.tradewest.co.uk

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

The name was revived in August 2009 by Midway Games's former European subsidiaries which rebranded themselves as Tradewest. They inherited the name from the American parent company which had owned the Tradewest trademark since 1996.

History[edit]

Original company[edit]

Tradewest was founded in 1985 by Leland Cook (Texas banker and rancher) and his son Byron Cook.[1] Tradewest started out by manufacturing SNK's Alpha Mission arcade game in the United States, followed by Ikari Warriors and Victory Road before shifting 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.[2]

Dissolution and aftermath[edit]

Tradewest was acquired by WMS Industries (the owner 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, thus signaling the end of Tradewest.[3] 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 Acclaim Entertainment). Both the Corsicana, Texas and a new R&D facility in San Diego (replacing the El Cajon location) remained opened within Midway who continued to employ Byron Cook (who became president of Midway Home Entertainment)[4] and John Rowe (who became Vice-Chairman and Director of Product Development);[2] developing and publishing games for GameCube, Xbox, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Windows.

Byron Cook resigned from Midway in 2001.[4] The following year, Midway's head office in Chicago shut down the Corsicana location.[5] Byron Cook is now serving as a Republican State Representative in Texas for the Corsicana district. [6]

John Rowe became 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.[7]

European revival[edit]

15 years after the original American company dissolved, the Tradewest name was revived in Europe in 2009 by the former Midway UK and France publishing divisions following a management buyout.[8]

On August 19, 2009, Midway Games Ltd (founded in 1999 in London as the English subsidiary of Midway Games Inc) and Midway Games SAS (founded in 2005 in Paris as the French subsidiary of Midway Games Inc) were sold to Spiess Media Holding UG owned by Martin Spiess (the former head of Midway Games Ltd).

A new German holding company, Tradewest Games Holding, was created to manage the French subsidiary Tradewest Games SAS (founded in 2009), and the two English subsidiaries Tradewest Games Ltd (founded in 2009) and Tradewest Digital (founded in 2010).

Tradewest Games Holding, along with its subsidiaries, disappeared in 2013.

List of games published[edit]

Arcade[edit]

NES[edit]

Game Boy[edit]

Super NES[edit]

Genesis[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]