Ultra Games

Ultra Games

Infobox Defunct Company
company_name = Ultra Software Corporation
fate = Dissolved by the parent company (Konami)
successor =
owner = Konami of America
foundation = 1988
defunct = 1992
location = Buffalo Grove, IL, USA
industry = computer and video game industry
key_people =
products = video games
num_employees =
parent = Konami
subsid =

Ultra Software Corporation was a spinoff company created in 1988 as a subsidiary of Konami of America, in an effort to get around Nintendo of America's strict licensing rules. One of these rules was that a third-party company could only publish up to five games per year for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US. This was hardly convenient for Konami, which had begun releasing more than ten games a year for both the Famicom and Famicom Disk System in Japan. With a greater library than they were allowed to localize, Konami formed the Ultra Games brand to extend their annual library to ten games a year.

Ultra's first game was the NES version of "Metal Gear". At first, Ultra was dedicated to localizing Konami's pre-existing software from Japan, but later they began publishing works from other companies as well. Some of Konami's most notable games released under the Ultra label include "Operation C" (an original Game Boy installment of the "Contra" series), "Snake's Revenge" (a non-canonical sequel to the original "Metal Gear") and the first few "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" games for the NES and Game Boy.

After the North American launch of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo became less strict on the number of games third-parties could publish. As a result, Ultra Games began losing its purpose and Konami shortly dropped the label in 1992.

In Europe, Konami established the Palcom Software Limited subsidiary for similar purposes. Their library was similar to Ultra's, but the company also published games that were not released in America, notably "Parodius" and "Pop'n Twinbee".

Games published

Nintendo Entertainment System

* "Metal Gear" (June 1988)
* "Skate or Die!" (December 1988)
* "Gyruss" (February 1989)
* "Q*bert" (February 1989)
* "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (June 1989)
* "Defender of the Crown" (July 1989)
* "Silent Service" (December 1989)
* "Kings of the Beach" (January, 1990)
* "Snake's Revenge" (April 1990)
* "" (September 1990)
* "RollerGames" (September 1990)
* "" (December 1990)
* "Ski or Die" (February 1991)
* "Base Wars" (June 1991)
* "Laser Invasion" (June 1991)
* "Nightshade" (January 1992)
* "" (February 1992)
* "Pirates!" (October 1992)

Game Boy

* "Motocross Maniacs" (January 1990)
* "Nemesis" (April 1990)
* "" (August 1990)
* "Quarth" (December 1990)
* "Operation C" (February 1991)
* "Blades of Steel" (August 1991)
* "Star Trek: 25th Anniversary" (February 1992)
* "Ultra Golf" (March 1992)
* "World Circuit Series" (March 1992)

ee also

* Konami

External links

* [http://www.mobygames.com/company/ultra-software-corporation "Ultra Games"] profile on MobyGames

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