Midway Games

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Midway Manufacturing Company was founded in 1958 in Chicago, Illinois, as an arcade game company. It was sold to Bally in 1969, and reincorporated as "Bally/Midway" in 1982 after merging with Bally's assets, and reverted back to "Midway Manufacturing" in 1988 after it was sold to WMS Industries, and entered the home console gaming market as "Midway Home Entertainment" in 1996 after a renaming from Williams Entertainment (the former Tradewest), with the parent unit becoming "Midway Games". In 1991, Williams folded its videogame unit to Midway, and then transferred the assets to Midway outright in 1996 after it bought out Atari Games. In 1998, the company spun off from Williams Entertainment. Major troubles came in 2008, when Midway closed several of its divisions. In February 2009, the US-based operations of Midway filed for bankruptcy, while the European assets were sold and two of them were renamed "Tradewest". Most of Midway's key assets, including former divisions Surreal Software and Midway Chicago (now "NetherRealm Studios"), and publishing rights to the Mortal Kombat and Wheelman series were acquired by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.



1st Logo (October 10, 1996-January 17, 1997)

See the 5th logo on the Williams Entertainment page for the description.

2nd Logo (December 20, 1996-February 28, 1999)


Visuals: On a space background, twelve shooting stars fly from all over the screen and meet in the center. They disappear and the Midway logo (a red elongated arc with a jacked-up "M" inside it) and "MIDWAY" (all in 3D) spin toward the screen. "HOME ENTERTAINMENT" appears underneath, conjoined. The words scroll to their proper wording.

Variants:

  • On Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1, the text is gold. Plus, the circle "M" is polygon-styled.
  • On the SNES version of Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1, the still version of the variant was shown along with the Digital Eclipse Software logo. Above the logo is "Presented by". Next to the Digital Eclipse logo is "Developed by DIGITAL ECLIPSE SOFTWARE, INC." in stacked words.
  • On Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey '98, the still Midway logo shares the screen with the NHL, NHLPA and N64 logos below, along with Wayne Gretzky's signature above. The N64 logo is absent on the PS1 version.
  • On Nagano Olympic Hockey '98, the still logo shares the screen with the NHLPA, N64, and Nagano 1998 logos.
  • On San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing and California Speed for Nintendo 64, a copyright notice is under the still logo.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A low humming tune. None for the still version.

Availability: Seen on Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1 and Maximum Force for PlayStation and Sega Saturn. It also appears on other games such as Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey '98 and Nagano Olympic Hockey '98, although the PlayStation version of the former has the next logo preceding it.

3rd Logo (Still variants) (May 21, 1997-October 21, 2008)

Visuals: On a black or white background is a flat version of the Midway logo from the previous logo. On the right side is the same text from the previous logos, albeit in 2D.

Variant: Sometimes, "PRESENTS" is below the logo.

Technique: A still, sprite-based graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on a handful of Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS games, starting with War Gods for N64. It also appears on Muppet RaceMania for PlayStation.

4th Logo (September 30, 1997-March 31, 1999)


Visuals: On a black background, a comet moves counter-clockwise. As the comet moves, it leaves a trail of red fog. The comet then moves from right to left, making an "M" shape in the process. Then it moves up and down and left and right a couple of times. Then the Midway logo appears as it's formed by the comet, starting with the arc and the "M", which eases back a bit. After the logo is formed, the comet goes right and "MIDWAY" in white appears near the logo. The fog dissipates.

Variants:

  • On some games, a copyright stamp appears below the logo.
  • On NBA Fastbreak '98, the logo is in slow motion, but the music still plays as normal.
  • On a trailer for San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing, the logo is still.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: The sound of the comet flying around. When the logo is formed, electrical crackling is heard, then it ends with a low synth note.

Audio Variant: On some games, such as Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 2, the music is in high tone.

Availability: Seen on Midway games for the PlayStation, such as Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, Gex 3D: Enter the Gecko, Pandemonium 2, Bio FREAKS, NFL Blitz, San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing, Rampage 2: Universal Tour, and Mortal Kombat 4. Also seen on several arcade game attract modes from the time, including NFL Blitz 99.

5th Logo (November 10, 1998-February 28, 1999)

Visuals: On a black background, several red pieces fly in and come together to form the Midway "M" logo. The camera rotates until the logo is facing the camera. The "M" then zooms out, and "MIDWAY" wipes in to the right of the logo.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: None.

Availability: Only known to appear on Rush 2 and California Speed for Nintendo 64.

6th Logo (Klax variant) (1999)

Visuals: Over a black background is the Midway logo. A blue grid scrolls through the logo, and then the logo shines.

Technique: 2D sprite animation.

Audio: A four-note synth, which was actually one of the game's sound effects.

Availability: Only seen on Klax for Game Boy Color.

7th Logo (1999)

Visuals: Over a black background is the Midway logo. Two comets streak out, forming two symbols, a trademark symbol on the top left of the "M" logo, and the registered trademark symbol on the right of the name. "PRESENTS" is shown below the logo.

Variant: On NFL Blitz 2000, a football strikes, while the comet moves over the logo.

Technique: 2D sprite animation.

Audio: None.

Availability: Only seen on Paperboy and NFL Blitz 2000 for Game Boy Color.

8th Logo (August 17, 1999-May 1, 2001)

Visuals: On a black background, a shiny version of the Midway logo flips quickly towards the screen. When it gets extremely close, an explosion appears behind it. Then the logo moves back slowly as the explosion dissipates. As this happens, the letters in the word "MIDWAY" fly in quickly from top and bottom one-by-one, forming the name.

Variant: On 4 Wheel Thunder, the banner zooms in and the name vertically compresses.

Technique: CGI

Audio: When the logo flips, a flipping noise is heard, followed by an explosion with two low notes that sustain themselves.

Availability: Seen on Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, Gauntlet Dark Legacy, NFL Blitz 2000, NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC (PlayStation and Dreamcast versions only of the latter two), and the North American edition of Destruction Derby Raw.

9th Logo (May 18, 2000-February 12, 2001)


Visuals: Many flaming lines rush through the inner liquid surface of a cylinder. It moves and becomes the circle "M", with a spark running around it and then creating the word “MIDWAY”. "HOME ENTERTAINMENT INC." also appears below.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Buzzing and whooshing sounds.

Availability: Seen on Kurt Warner’s Arena Football Unleashed, NBA Hoopz, Muppet Monster Adventure, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2, the Dreamcast ports of Army Men: Sarge's Heroes and San Francisco Rush 2049, and the US version of Formula One 2000 for PlayStation, among others.

10th Logo (September 12, 2000-November 17, 2002)

Visuals: On a black background is a relief version of the Midway M-Shield. On the right is the company name, and below it, the text "HOME ENTERTAINMENT INC." in small print.

Technique: A still, sprite-based graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on NFL Blitz 2001 and NFL Blitz Special Edition for Nintendo 64 and Justice League: Injustice for All for Game Boy Advance.

11th Logo (September 12, 2000)

Visuals: Over a black background is the usual Midway logo, and below it was the text "HOME ENTERTAINMENT". The M-Shield spins from the left to the right.

Technique: 2D sprite animation.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen only on NFL Blitz 2001 for Game Boy Color.

12th Logo (September 17, 2001-November 3, 2002)

Visuals: On a black background is an outline of the Midway text from the last two logos. The M-Shield slides in, and then rotates, and the logo shines, and the company name wipes in to fill out.

Variant: On Defender, the logo is still.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on NFL Blitz 20-02 and Defender for Game Boy Advance.

13th Logo (September 24, 2001-June 24, 2002)


Visuals: A bunch of pink cardiograms pass the screen. The closest one suddenly creates the "M" letter instead of heart rate. They all collapse into one single line and the Midway logo appears once the lines vanish.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: An uprising electronic tune with electronic beats that drum faster as the lines move back, then an abrupt stop with a low tone as the logo appears.

Availability: It was only seen on four games: NHL Hitz 2002, NFL Blitz 2002, and SpyHunter, and RedCard 2003.

14th Logo (May 14, 2002-August 27, 2003)

Visuals: Over a black background is the usual Midway logo from the period, but the text "GAMES INC." in a Futura font is added below. A cardiogram line passes over from the left to the right side of the logo.

Technique: 2D sprite animation.

Audio: None.

Availability: Only seen on Spy Hunter, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, and Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition for Game Boy Advance.

15th Logo (November 22, 2002-October 9, 2006)


Visuals: On a black background, an orange-red cardiogram appears twice. The third time, the M-like shape of it suddenly starts to resemble a red line having slashed through the background. This slash mark zooms out and forms the Midway circle "M" as the company name appears next to it. The circle "M" slowly zooms in as the logo shines from left to right.

Variants:

  • On Area 51, the logo glitches in and is tinted green, then it flashes to its normal colors after the animation is complete.
  • On Justice League Chronicles for GBA, the logo has a 3D effect and "HOME ENTERTAINMENT INC." is added below.
  • Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows instead has the circle "M" rotating and the text created by a spinning axe, flying through the screen. The company's name is said by a deep voice.
  • On Haven: Call of the King, the logo is still and lies on a white background with a copyright stamp below. Another variant is used in the opening credits, where the logo in 3-D while floating in space. The logo zooms out as the camera then pans up to reveal "PRESENTS", then to the right for "A GAME BY", then the Traveller's Tales logo variant from the game appears.
  • On The Suffering, the logo projects from the blood splattered on the wall.
  • There exists an enhanced version of this logo as well.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Three stylized heartbeat sounds followed by three speedy whooshes and a deep, quick slamming sound while the logo fades out.

Availability: Seen on such games asMortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Ed, Edd, ‘n Eddy: The Mis-Ed-ventures, and all three volumes of Midway Arcade Treasures (including the Extended Play and Deluxe Edition releases). The enhanced version appeared on Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.

16th Logo (2003)

Visuals: Same as the San Francisco Rush 2049 variant of the 1996-1999 Atari Games logo, except the Atari Games logo is replaced by the red Midway "M-Shield".

Technique: CGI.

Audio: See the 1996-1999 Atari Games logo.

Availability: Seen on the arcade game San Francisco Rush 2049: Special Edition.

17th Logo (October 17, 2005-December 12, 2006)


Visuals: The background is covered with many circle "M"'s and "MIDWAY" texts. The logo zooms inside and the Midway logo appears and flashes. After this, the background clears out.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A beating electronic tune followed with a "wzzh" sound.

Availability: Appeared on Rise & Fall, NBA Ballers Rebound, European releases of Myst,, MLB SlugFest 2006, Blitz: The League, Blitz Overtime, and SpyHunter: Nowhere to Run.

18th Logo (Rampage: Total Destruction variant) (April 24, 2006)

Visuals: The Midway logo hangs among a cyan-tinted space and casts a shadow. Suddenly, an enraged ape lands directly at the logo, breaking part of it, and proceeds with the destruction. It uses the "I" letter to crush the remaining text, then takes the circle "M" and throws it into the screen, which cracks. The background clears, leaving the banner and cracked glass for a few more seconds.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: The falling sound accompanying the falling ape, then the raging growls and the destruction noise.

Availability: Only seen on Rampage: Total Destruction.

19th Logo (May 29, 2007-November 16, 2008)


Visuals: A red gyroscope comes into the screen, whirls and forms the Midway symbol, which blasts a ring made of white and rapidly zooms in. The complete logo immediately returns, shakes once with a red buzz, then zooms in as well.

Variant: On HD games, the "HD" symbol appears afterwards.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Various bumps and whooshes.

Availability: Appears on such games as Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, Stranglehold, Game Party and its sequel, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Mechanic Master, and trailers for Wheelman.

Williams Entertainment
Midway Games
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