As Virtuality was bringing an old classic back to arcades in a new way, other companies were releasing classic arcade games for new formats. Following the success of Activision’s Atari 2600 Action Packs, several companies began releasing compilations of classic arcade games.

Williams released its Williams Arcade Classics early in the year. Among the six games included in this collection were Defender and Joust. What made this collection particularly interesting was that the games used the original program code, which ran through an emulator so they could be played on di erent platforms. Besides being available for the PC and the Mac, Williams Arcade Classics was released for the 16- and 32-bit game consoles. The CD versions of Williams Arcade Classics also included histories of the featured games. Unlike the text history that had been included on the Activision CDs, Williams Arcade Classics contained multimedia interviews with the designers, as well as photos of early game designs.

Williams’ sister company, Midway, released a PlayStation CD that spotlighted Atari’s classic arcade games. Arcade’s Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection contained six of Atari’s most famous arcade games, including Asteroids and Tempest. In the spirit of Williams Arcade Classics, the games on the disc featured the original code running through an emulator, and also contained multimedia histories of the games.



Check out more of the rich history of the industry in Leonard Herman’s book Phoenix IV available at Rolenta Press and make sure to sign up to get Old School Gamer Magazine for free by clicking here!



Leonard Herman Leonard Herman (26 Posts)

Leonard Herman, The Game Scholar, is regarded as one of the earliest and most respected videogame historians. The first edition of his book Phoenix: The Fall & Rise of Home Videogames, which was published in 1994, is considered to be the first serious and comprehensive book about the history of videogames. He has written articles for Videogaming & Computer Illustrated, Games Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Pocket Games, Classic Gamer Magazine, Edge, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Manci Games, and Video Game Trader, which he also edited. He has also contributed articles to several videogame-related books, including Supercade, The Video Game Explosion and The Encyclopedia of Video Games. Mr. Herman has also written the book ABC To the VCS (A Directory of Software for the Atari 2600), a compendium of game summaries. He has also written and designed user's manuals for the following Atari VCS games: Cracked, Save the Whales, Pick-Up, Rush Hour, Looping, The Entity and Lasercade, as well as the user's guide to Ralph Baer's Pinball! for the Odyssey2. In 1994, he founded Rolenta Press, a publisher of videogame books, whose catalogue included Videogames: In the Beginning, by Ralph H. Baer, the inventor of the videogame console, and Confessions of the Game Doctor by Bill Kunkel, the world's first videogame journalist. Two Rolenta Press books were included in a list of the top ten videogame books of all time by Game Informer magazine in 2008. Mr. Herman has served as an advisor for Videotopia, Classic Gaming Expo and the National Videogame Museum. He has appeared in several episodes of G4's Icons and in the documentary, The King of Arcades. In 2003, Mr. Herman received a Classic Gaming Expo Achievement Award in recognition for his accomplishments in documenting game history