Williams Electronics Inc. was formally founded in 1974 but traces its roots back to 1943. The company was formed by Harry E. Williams and was later renamed to Williams Manufacturing division after it was acquired by Seeburg Corp, the jukebox manufacturers. The company gained fame in its production and manufacturing of Pinball machines that became famous all over the world.
In 1973, the new owners of Williams Electronic branched out to the Arcade video game market with the game Paddleball which was a clone to Pong. Following the success of Paddleball, the company ventured into the market by creating more arcade games which included Defender and Robotron. The company was sold in 1980 as an independent company following the bankruptcy of Seeburg Corp.
Harry Williams founded the company in 1943 in Chicago, Illinois. After forming the company, the company ventured into the manufacturing of its first seven products which were; a fortune-telling machine which was called Selector Scope, two periscopes, a novelty (Zingo) and a pinball conversion (Flat-Top), an EM arcade game (Circus), and another pinball conversion (Laura). The two pinball machines were made during World War 2.
After the 1980 sale as an independent company, the new owner re-branded the company name to WMS industry inc in 1987. Following its success, the company acquired its main competitor at the time Bally/Midway and developed it as an independent business together with its video game business. In 2013, WMS became a subsidiary of Scientific games and in 2016 was merged fully into Scientific Games.
Williams Company, with the help of the owner Harry E. Williams, are to be credited with spearheading the gaming world success. The company single-handedly can be credited with making history and bringing change and fame to the gaming industry. Unlike other ‘golden age’ companies, Williams did not die nor did it get buried by the sands of time, it lives on within Scientific Games Company.