Williams Electronics Games presented as one of the first slot machines such as pinball machines, arcade games and bowling machines ago. Meanwhile, the company was renamed in WMS Gaming. The headquarters is located in Waukegan near Chicago.
The company dates back to the Williams Electronic Manufacturing Company, founded in 1943 by Harry E. Williams. 1958 took over Sam Stern, the company. Harry Williams worked until his death in 1983 continued as a freelance designer and developer. Also Bally and Stern brought to market until the 1980s, designed by Harry Williams pinball. The jagged encircled 'W' was from 1962 corporate symbol, it was designed by Jerry K. Kelley.
From 1968 the company Williams Electronics, Inc. was and settled in an ultra-modern building in the California Avenue in Chicago has to offer. In 1979, Williams Flash with the commercially most machines built the company's history on the market and was thus within a year the market leader.
In 2000, the production and distribution of the formerly popular pinball machines due to the disappearance of interest in the machine has been set. For many pinball hobbyist and collectors a great loss, since Williams took over the former leader and counterparty Bally in 1988 and thus two companies disappeared simultaneously.
Innovations Williams were among many others such as the drop target ( 1962), the long 3-inch Flipper Lever (1968 ), electronic background sound ( 1979, Flash), Language ( 1979 Gorgar ), Double - Level playing fields (1980 ), ramps and toys on the playing fields (from 1984 ), and game programs, who adapted themselves to the player's skill ( from 1986 with high Speed).
The first really big success for Williams in Germany was 1965, the Flipper Big Chief, whose popularity was in 1966 far exceeded by à - Go-Go. Shangri -La in 1967 was also a very successful and popular pinball. In the 1970s, the models Honey ( 1972), oxo (1973) and Space Mission ( 1976) were among the most successful flippers. 1979 and 1980 presented Williams with Flash, Gorgar and Firepower, each made with high circulation of nearly 20,000 copies, the most popular devices before this time and Bally displaced from the market peak.
The most popular Williams pinball nowadays are High Speed II: The Getaway, Medieval Madness (applies to both still in use today ) and other titles such as Funhouse or junk yard. Further technical highlights Williams reached with the flippers Earthshaker (1989) and Whirlwind (1990). Successful arcade games were Defender (computer game), Joust, Robotron: 2084 and Moon Patrol, the latter licensed by Irem.