In 1943 Harry Williams, armed with a Stanford University engineering degree, founded the Williams Manufacturing Company on West Huron Street in Chicago, Illinois. His aim was to take older pinball machines from competitors and tweak the artwork and game play. His first few machines included Supercope, a fortune-telling machine, and electro-magnetic games called Periscope and Zingo. Williams devised the “tiltâ€ mechanism that came to define pinball and brought out his first original machine, called Suspense, in 1946. In 1950 Harry’s Lucky Inning pinball game was the first time he employed flippers.
By the 1970s Williams was a major player in the pinball industry and the company took off after coin-operated video games beginning with Paddle-Ball, a knock-off of the revolutionary success of Atari with Pong. In 1976 Williams introduced its first solid-state electronic pinball games and was soon the industry leader. An industry, unfortunately that would soon recede into decline.
The Williams brand broke into different marketing specialties under the umbrella of WMS Industries. Williams Gaming set out for the gaming and state video lottery market in 1991. In 1994 WMS Gaming took its first steps into the reel-spinning slot machine market. It scored a quick hit with Reel ’em In, which company literature referred to as a “multi-line, multi-coin secondary bonus” video slot machine. The money-obsessed WMS line included such follow-up smashes as Jackpot Party. Boom, Filthy Rich and by 2001, a series of interactive slots based on the best-selling board game of all-time, Monopoly.
If Monopoly has a familiar ring to it so do many WMS games as the company has been active in tying up relationships with well-established proprietary titles. The Wizard of Oz, Men in Black, Star Trek, Clue, The Lord of the Rings, Hollywood Squares, Battleship, Dukes of Hazzard and The Price Is Right are all WMS branded games found in land-based casinos.
WMS Casino Games
So far WMS has released some 50 video slots games online. Many of its famous name branded slots have been left on the development sideline except for Star Trek which has satisfied the desires of Trekkie gamers with titles such as Star Trek: Piece of Action, Star Trek: Explore New Worlds, Star Trek: Trouble With Tribbles, Star Trek: Trap A Tribble and Star Trek: Red Alert. The Wizard of Oz has followed the yellow brick road online and the Black Knight has escaped the Bat Cave to appear on portable devices as well.
Several WMS titles are Reel Slots games which feature 15 independent spinning reels. Whenever a win occurs the symbols that precipitated the prizes stay locked and the non-winning reels spin again. This potentially lucrative game play continues until every reel is party to a win or a subsequent win is not formed. WMS games that use this feature are Riches of the Amazon, Kingdoms of Titan, Reel Rich Devil and John Wayne. Yes that is the Duke but rather than scenes from iconic John Wayne films the game only features a few images of Marion Robert Morrison in the background with generic western symbols on the reels. WMS also has a Clint Eastwood video slots game.
WMS also has a pair of progressive slots in the Life of Luxury series : Jungle Cats and Riches of Rome. Each pays into five different levels of a share jackpot between players of the two games. Look for the Life of Luxury Progressive bonus symbol on reel number five and receive up to ten free spins that can possibly bring home a grand prize.
As of this profile WMS Gaming has released only video slots games and has notable games or random number generated games of chance for online play.