Data East USA Inc.
Tetsuo Fukuda founded the Data East pinball company in 1976. The company’s U.S. presence came in 1979. Data East’s pinball machine phase spanned between 1987 to 1994. During the late 80s, the company produced multiple machines, such as Laser War. The pinball corporation started coming out with licensed games after 1990. Some of them included The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Batman. A couple of Data East’s most notable designers included Joe Kamnkow and Ed Cebula. One of the company’s milestones was its production of the DECO Cassette System in 1980. It was the first cartridge-based arcade system.
- Pinball games:27
- Years active:1986-1994
- Status:Not Active
- Location:San Jose, California
- Website:Data East USA Inc.
About Data East USA Inc.
Data East played a significant part in pinball machine innovations. It created the dot matrix display (DMD), which showcased player scores, active modes, and other animations. You can find this feature in games like Checkpoint and Maverick. The organization also built upon the pinball’s stereo sound quality.
After purchasing high-level licenses to create popular-themed pinball machines during the 1990s, Data East struggled financially. It experienced a slump in sales and ended up selling its pinball division to Sega in 1996.
By the time it sold, Data East had an impressive 25% of the industry’s market share. Plus, it was the second-largest pinball company globally. In 1999, Sega gave up its purchased pinball assets to Gary Stern.
Subsequently, he created the Stern pinball company.