Ultra Games

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Ultra Software Corporation
Shell subsidiary of Konami
IndustryVideo game
FateMerged to parent company
SuccessorKonami of America
Founded1988
Defunct1992
HeadquartersBuffalo Grove, IL, USA
ProductsVideo games
OwnerKonami
ParentKonami of America
Palcom Software Limited
Shell subsidiary of Konami
IndustryVideo game
FateMerged to parent company
SuccessorKonami Ltd. (UK)
Founded1990
Defunct1994
HeadquartersMiddlesex, England
ProductsVideo games
OwnerKonami
ParentKonami Ltd. (UK)

Ultra Software Corporation was a shell corporation and publishing label created in 1988 as a subsidiary of Konami of America, in an effort to get around Nintendo of America's strict licensing rules in place at the time for the North American market. One of these rules was that a third-party company could only publish up to five games per year for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US. This was hardly convenient for Konami, which had begun releasing more than ten games a year for both the Famicom and its Disk System add-on in Japan. With a greater library than it was allowed to localize, Konami formed the Ultra Games brand to extend its annual library to ten games a year.

Ultra's first game was the NES version of Metal Gear. At first, Ultra was dedicated to localizing Konami's pre-existing software from Japan, but later it began publishing works from other companies as well. Some of Konami's most notable games released under the Ultra label include Operation C, Snake's Revenge and the first few Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games for the NES and Game Boy.

Although created by Konami to bypass Nintendo policies, the Ultra label was also used on at least two IBM PC and Commodore 64 games: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Metal Gear.

After the North American launch of the Super NES in 1991, Nintendo started relaxing the restriction on the number of games third parties could publish each year. As a result, Ultra Games began losing its purpose and Konami dropped the label in early 1992.

In Europe, Konami established the Palcom Software Limited subsidiary for similar purposes. Its library was similar to Ultra's but the company also published games that were not released in North America, notably Road Fighter, Parodius and Crackout. Palcom also released Super NES games that were published in America by Konami itself. In contrast, some games that were released under the Ultra name in North America, such as Metal Gear and Snake's Revenge, were published under the regular Konami brand in Europe. The European subsidiary lasted longer than Ultra Games, until it was closed down in early 1994.

Games published[edit]

All games were developed by Konami, except where noted.

Ultra Games[edit]

NES[edit]

Game Boy[edit]

IBM PC (DOS)[edit]

Commodore 64[edit]

Palcom Software[edit]

NES[edit]

Game Boy[edit]

Super NES[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]