Midway was initially a division of Bally, the gaming and casino company, created as an arcade game business in 1976. Midway's notable early successes were the distribution of the arcade games Space Invaders and Pac-Man in America.
The Midway division was purchased by the arcade and pinball game company Williams in 1988. Much later, in 1996, Williams also purchased Time-Warner Interactive, which included Atari Games, part of the former giant Atari. In 1999, all the company's pinball operations were shut down and the Atari Games division, now named "Midway", survived as the only remnant of Midway/Williams/Atari Games.
With this history Midway has a brilliant legacy, with games that were landmarks of their time, such as Defender, Joust, Robotron, Spy Hunter, Tron, Mortal Kombat, and NBA Jam.
More recently Midway has fallen on harder times; they were listed as the #20 video game publisher in September 2003 by the magazine "Game Developer". In October 2003 the company said it expected to see about $100 million in revenues for the 2003 year, and $100 million in losses despite this. Sumner Redstone, the head of Viacom, is a large investor in the company.