Williams Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Founded in 1946 in Chicago, Illinois, Williams Manufacturing Company was originally a pinball machine producer. In 1994, Williams purchased Tradewest and renamed it as "Williams Entertainment, Inc." to enter the wide gaming market and to develop its own games. In 1996, Williams acquired Time Warner Interactive and Williams Entertainment was merged into a new corporation, "Midway Home Entertainment". However, early Midway games still used the Williams Entertainment banner.



1st Logo (August 1994-April 1995)

Visuals: The shiny gold word "Williams" written in its corporate script font, with the word "Entertainment" below.

Variant: On Troy Aikman NFL Football, the background is covered by W-Shields (spheres with a "W" inside) and the word "SPORTS".

Technique: None. [possible misuse]

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on Troy Aikman NFL Football and Kyle Petty's No Fear Racing.

2nd Logo (September 1, 1995-November 28, 1996)

Visuals: The black script word "Williams" is seen on a white background, and below is the byline "Williams Entertainment Inc." Right to the text is a circle with two V's crossed to form a "W" inside.

Variants:

  • On Genesis versions of Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, the logo is smaller.
  • On Doom for SNES, the logo is white on a black background.
  • On Mortal Kombat 3 for DOS, the logo has "A" above and "Production of" below.
  • On Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey, the logo is a shiny blue-white gradient color with "Williams Entertainment Inc." on a black background. It shares the screen with the NHL, NHLPA and N64 logos below, along with Wayne Gretzky's signature above.

Technique: None. [possible misuse]

Audio: Depending on the port of the game:

  • On Genesis versions of Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, it's silent.
  • On SNES versions of Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, we hear the victory music from The Subway stage.
  • On the SNES version of Doom, it uses the first seven notes of the Plant level.
  • On the DOS version of Mortal Kombat 3, we hear the sound of a bell ringing.

Availability: Seen on Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for Genesis and SNES. It also appears on the DOS version of the former as well. The black background variant can be seen on Doom for SNES.

3rd Logo (October 7, 1995-December 3, 1996)


Visuals: A vertical panel of many orange dots enters the screen and turns horizontal. Many laser beams begin to emerge from each dot in various directions. Then the dot panel flashes to the solid gray Williams logo, which is the same as above, but the W-Shield's surface is purple. A few light splashes appear over the logo.

Variant: A still version is used on Cruis'n USA for Nintendo 64, sharing the screen with the Nintendo logo. The W-Shield is absent and the words "Developed By:" are above the logo.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A deep synth note (taken from the Hollywood Edge Sound Effects Library track "Sci Fi Musical Scene Change or Stinger Take 1"), then an explosion as the logo appears, and the note continues.

Availability: Seen on Doom, Final Doom, and Mortal Kombat 3 for PlayStation. Also seen on the console ports of Area 51, as well as the PC ports of T-Mek and Return Fire.

4th Logo (April 10-August 1, 1996)


Visuals: Against a black background is the W-Shield, but in a purple-green crystal gradient color. Then it zooms back, spins and moves to the right, revealing the "Williams Entertainment" text from the wipe transition with "Williams" in its corporate font and "Entertainment" under it, which are also in the same color, and the text shines during the reveal. After the W-Shield goes to the right of the logo, an orange glow appears around it and dims a little.

Variants:

  • On Ms. Pac-Man for the SNES and Williams' Arcades Greatest Hits for Genesis and SNES, it's a still logo with the glow intact around the W-Shield.
  • On Williams' Arcades Greatest Hits, the still logo is shown along with the Digital Eclipse Software logo with "Presented by" above the Williams logo.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: None.

Availability: Appears on Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for Saturn. The still version is seen on Ms. Pac-Man for SNES and Williams' Arcades Greatest Hits for Genesis and SNES.

5th Logo (with the Midway logo) (October 10, 1996-January 17, 1997)


Visuals: Two gray dots (above the "i"'s) appear with a green firework effect. The camera moves to the opposite side on a plain, and the word "Williams" in its corporate font is being drawn from both sides to the center with the same green effects. Then, the letters of the Midway logo fly from the bottom of the screen to their positions letter-by-letter in a backwards order, while the camera zooms out a little and a green flash draws the Williams byline below the Williams logo. The Midway logo then glows. As both logos are ready, they then flash once and fade out.

Variants:

  • There is a still version of the logo, which features the still version of the 3rd logo with the flash intact on the dot above the "i".
  • On the PlayStation PAL version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, it's a still logo with the flash effect intact.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: The sounds of firework effects, followed by a synthesizer build up (the "Glider" factory preset on the Korg Wavestation), then whoosh sounds as the letters of the Midway logo fly in, and the explosion from the 3rd logo is heard when the logos flash.

Audio Variant: None or the opening theme of the game on the still version.

Availability: Can be seen on Mortal Kombat Trilogy, NHL Open Ice and Robotron X for PlayStation. The still version is shown on NBA Hang Time for Genesis, SNES and Nintendo 64. Also appears on the Windows 95 version of Mortal Kombat 3 as well.

Tradewest
Williams Entertainment
Midway Games
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