If you were lucky enough to be a part of the video game industry in the 1990s – either as a developer or as a gamer – then you’re well aware of what a magical time it was. Odds are, you’re also keenly aware of the impact that Midway Games had on the industry.
In the early ‘90s, arcades were still a thing (albeit on the downswing). If you wanted to play the hottest new video game, you went to the arcade to do so. It was in this decade that Midway had its incredible run with hit after hit after hit.
As you may know, Midway was responsible for titles like Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam and WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game, just to name a few.
Mortal Kombat was the most advanced and realistic fighting game ever when it debuted in 1992. It’s penchant for extreme violence generated tons of controversy and was directly responsible for the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the organization that assigns age and content ratings to this very day.
NBA Jam took the basic concept of basketball and injected it with a massive dose of steroids. Everything about the 2-on-2 basketball game was over-the-top but perhaps what kept players coming back for more were the secret codes. The game featured a plethora of playable hidden characters and special abilities like big head mode, super dunks and infinite turbo.
WrestleMania featured digitized representations of eight of the WWF’s most popular characters at the time, pitting them in a battle more akin to a fighting game than a wrestling match. It’s fast-paced, over-the-top antics (inspired by Mortal Kombat) were a hit in the arcade scene.
Both Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam are among the highest-earning arcade games of all-time with the latter generating over $1 billion in quarters in its first year.
Joshua Tsui, a former Midway employee and the voice (and overall inspiration?) of Mortal Kombat character Liu Kang, is working on a documentary about Midway’s amazing run called Insert Coin: Inside Midway’s ‘90s Revolution and he needs your help to complete it.
As noted on its Kickstarter page, Insert Coin really digs into the culture of Midway Games, arcades in the ‘90s and how the company impacted the gaming industry. Being that he worked for Midway from 1993 through 1999, he no doubt has a ton of inside stories and never-before-seen footage to share.
Tsui is seeking to raise $75,000 to complete the documentary. The money will cover the cost of travel, hiring camera operators, production and post production staff, writers, sound recorders, editors and so on.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in contributing to, a pledge of just $15 is all that’s required to secure a digital download of Insert Coin when it’s ready. As of writing, there’s 29 days left in the campaign and still a long ways to go before it hits its goal.
Insert Coin is expected to launch in May 2017.