Ultra Games

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Ultra Software Corporation
TypeShell subsidiary of Konami
IndustryVideo games
FateMerged to parent company
SuccessorKonami of America
HeadquartersBuffalo Grove, IL, USA
ParentKonami of America
Palcom Software Limited
TypeShell subsidiary of Konami
IndustryVideo games
FateMerged to parent company
SuccessorKonami Ltd. (UK)
HeadquartersMiddlesex, England
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.[1] 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.[1]

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. The IBM PC and Commodore 64 conversions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Metal Gear were also published under the Ultra branding.

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. The last games released by Ultra Games were Ultra Golf and World Circuit Series, both released in March 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]


Game Boy[edit]

IBM PC (DOS)[edit]

Commodore 64[edit]

Palcom Software[edit]


Game Boy[edit]

Super NES[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Konami's Cheat to Get Around a Silly Nintendo Rule".

External links[edit]