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From Mortal Kombat to NBA Jam to Cruis'n USA, this is the untold history of the greatest videogame studio of the 90's.
FUNDED! From Mortal Kombat to NBA Jam to Cruis'n USA, this is the untold history of the greatest videogame studio of the 90's.
FUNDED! From Mortal Kombat to NBA Jam to Cruis'n USA, this is the untold history of the greatest videogame studio of the 90's.
1,316 backers pledged $92,181 to help bring this project to life.

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Insert Coin: Inside Midway's '90s Revolution

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NEW REWARD TIER REVISION

$7000 now includes a Revolution X arcade cabinet, party for 20 people at Galloping Ghost arcade with cast and crew members. 

PLUS: A $1000 donation in your name to the Tony Hawk Foundation. Go check this tier out!

“This was an insanely amazing era in games and to have someone from the inside like Josh to be making this is truly unprecedented.” - Eugene Jarvis, Owner of Raw Thrills, Creator of Robotron, NARC, Cruis'n USA

"Mortal Kombat could not have happened at any place other than Midway Games in the '90s. It's exciting to see the story of that historic era in arcade history being told." - John Tobias, Co-Creator of Mortal Kombat and SmashTV.

"Midway introduced me to a chaotic mix of geniuses, madmen, heroes and villains… And those were just the employees I worked with!” - John Vignocchi, VP of Production Disney Interactive, former 90s fan-boy turned intern at Midway Games '98 - '08

"In the '90s, Midway didn't make arcade games so much as phenomenons. The talent pool and string of hits were staggering. I'm looking forward to Josh telling all the stories that nobody wanted to tell on-the-record at the time!" -- Dan Amrich, ex-games journalist & author of Critical Path

NEWS: BLU RAYS NOW AUTOGRAPHED

Note:We can't edit the rewards with this information which is why it's being posted here. 

Great news, all Blu Rays will now be signed by luminaries such as Eugene Jarvis, John Tobias, Kerri Hoskins amongst others. So if you have already bought in at that reward tier, you have an instant upgrade. The rest of you, get on this!

I started my video game development career at Midway in the early 90's and it really set the tone for the next 20+ years of my professional life. This was an amazing time to be in video games and Midway was making history one game at a time.

Imagine walking into your first job and working with the creators of Robotron, Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam. All produced in a run down space in the back of a pinball factory. They were on the cusp of becoming legends, brainstorming some of the biggest hits in the history of video games.

John Tobias, co-creator of Mortal Kombat discussing the origins of Mortal Kombat.
John Tobias, co-creator of Mortal Kombat discussing the origins of Mortal Kombat.

 Midway in the 90's was an insane asylum run by the inmates! They were on the cusp of becoming legends, brainstorming some of the biggest hits in the history of video games and making it up as they went along. 

Ouch
Ouch

A nightmare for the higher ups, but a boon to gamers, Midway offered an unrestricted environment -- no management, no producers, no rules. Each team would take the nugget of an idea and just run with it, sometimes not realizing that they were making massive hits. Even though the team was part of a large corporation, its personality was small, agile, and independent.

Insert Coin talks to the developers of each game and lays out how all the games were made and how they connected with each other. Every game had its own unique story about victories, setbacks, and general mayhem. Only someone from the inside can understand the context of events and ask the right questions.

Mark Turmell, Creator of NBA Jam and NFL Blitz, on the NFL's reaction to an early version of Blitz.
Mark Turmell, Creator of NBA Jam and NFL Blitz, on the NFL's reaction to an early version of Blitz.

Besides the craziness of game development, there are also stories such as Steven Spielberg trying to steal teams, Macaulay Culkin and his brother running rampant in the studio, and WWE wrestlers taking the developers to dive bars. 

Sal Divita, Co-Creator of NBA Jam and Wrestlemania:The Arcade Game remembering fun bar nights with WWE Wrestlers.
Sal Divita, Co-Creator of NBA Jam and Wrestlemania:The Arcade Game remembering fun bar nights with WWE Wrestlers.
Kerri Hoskins-Branson, actress in many Midway Games, tells about being on the Mortal Kombat Live tour.
Kerri Hoskins-Branson, actress in many Midway Games, tells about being on the Mortal Kombat Live tour.

On top of the games everyone knows and loves, there are a lot of projects that have never seen the light of day. Insert Coin discusses with the devs who worked on them to find out what these games were and what happened to them.

Never Before Seen Footage
Never Before Seen Footage

Insert Coin really digs into the culture of Midway Games and arcades in the 90's and how it affected how games were developed. It's also a story about how large of an impact Chicago has in the video game industry both then and now. Many members of this team went on to become captains of industry, running whole studios, creating massive new IPs, etc. This is where they all started.

"Josh has remained a champion of Midway and its games even long after his tenure there. This documentary has been something only someone with his passion can provide and I know I can't wait to see the end product" - Patrick McCarron, Co-Founder The Realm of Mortal Kombat

Me throughout 90s video games history (so, I know my stuff).
Me throughout 90s video games history (so, I know my stuff).

 A lot of interview footage has been shot already but there are many more people to hit up. Many of the interviewees live in different parts of the country so a lot of traveling is involved. Besides the people that are already in the trailer, there are numerous others to get interviews with. 

Obviously there are also people who would need to get hired at various points of production and post production. Writers, Camera people, sound recording, editors, etc all rely on proper funds coming in. The goal is a quality documentary with high polish. 

Risks and challenges

Production delays are always a risk. The people we'll be interviewing likely have busy schedules we'll need to work around.

Access to archives of old game footage, models, sounds, and information may take more time than we expect.

In making this film we believe it's more important to do it correctly than to hack it together in order to hit a deadline that could force a poor film to be made. Documentaries can take anywhere from 2 years and up but we will always make sure that everyone is kept updated on progress.

Every effort will be made to address any issues backers may have, so feel free to bring those concerns to us at any time throughout the campaign or production.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    90'S HERO: Digital Download of Insert Coin and our eternal gratitude.

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    90'S HERO EXTREME: Digital Download of Insert Coin. Access to footage and information as the documentary is being made. Your name in the credits.

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    ON FIRE: Both Digital Download and Special Edition Blu Ray with Bonus Footage. Includes your name at the top of the Special Thanks section of the credits.

    Can be shipped internationally, additional shipping costs will be added.

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    ON FIRE (International Edition): Both Digital Download and Special Edition Blu Ray with Bonus Footage. Includes your name at the top of the Special Thanks section of the credits.

    Can be shipped internationally, additional shipping costs will be added.

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    ICON: All of the above plus T-SHIRT with the final logo design. Your name in a SUPER SPECIAL credits section.
    Note: Shirts will ship well before the documentary is done.

    Can be shipped internationally, additional shipping costs will be added.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ICON (International Edition): All of the above plus T-SHIRT with the final logo design. Your name in a SUPER SPECIAL credits section.
    Note: Shirts will ship well before the documentary is done.

    Can be shipped internationally, additional shipping costs will be added.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    HIGH RESOLUTION: All of the above, plus an exclusive limited edition John Tobias (co-creator of Mortal Kombat) signed print. John is creating a brand new illustration only for Kickstarter backers. Each high quality print is signed and numbered by John Tobias. This will not be available anywhere outside of this Kickstarter campaign.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    SOUND AND VISION: All of the above, plus the legendary voice of many Mortal Kombat games, Hernan Sanchez, will record a personalized mp3 voicemail message (or any message for that matter). You tell him what to say and he'll do it (subject to content review)!

    Not only was Hernan the voice for many of the Mortal Kombat games, but he was also part of the development team from the tail end of the 90s to modern times.

    This is a very limited item. Only 50 are available. The audio files themselves will most likely ship well before physical items and will be delivered as a digital download. The shipping below applies to the physic items from previous reward tiers.

    Yes, this means you get a John Tobias drawing AND Hernan Sanchez's voice. Sound and Vision...get it?!

    Note: Importing the audio to your voicemail service may vary in technique. We only provide the audio file, not methods of installation. Length and content subject to approval.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SHOUTOUT: All of the above, plus a personal thank you message posted to our various social media outlets from the director. Each shout out will be in conjunction with new footage reveals and your name will be the sponsor for that video.

    Items can be shipped internationally, additional shipping costs will be added.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    FANBOY/GIRL All of the above. Plus Associate Producer credit. Plus 5 copies of signed Blu Rays.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    SUPERFAN: All of the above plus special credit as Executive Producer. This isn't just plain text, we're talking explosions and glitter here! Like Superman The Movie credits epicness.

    Also includes 10 copies of the Special Edition Blu Ray to give to family and friends (or shoot them a weapon in Revolution X).

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN: All of the above plus YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACE in the documentary talking about your memories of Midway Arcade Games of the 90's.

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    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    GALLOPING GHOST PRO GAMER
    This is the big one. To celebrate the amazing Galloping Ghost’s 5th anniversary, they have provided a Signed Revolution X arcade game! George Petro (co-creator) and Kerri Hoskins Branson (Mistress Helga) will personally autograph this awesome arcade cabinet just for you.

    Also at least $1000 will be donated in your name to the Tony Hawk Foundation. This organization helps fund public skateparks for low income communities. Find out more here: http://tonyhawkfoundation.org

    PLUS: Private Party for you and 20 of your best friends at the world famous Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL. with special guests Eugene Jarvis, George Petro (co-creator), Sal Divita (co-creator of NBA Jam and actor of Nightwolf and Scorpion),Mortal Kombat Stars Kerri (Sonya) Hoskins Branson, Daniel (Johnny Cage) Pesina, Producer Joshua Tsui and surprise guests (schedule and all guests are subject to availability) at this amazing arcade.

    PLUS: Special Uber Limited Edition Signed John Tobias Print. Only 5 of these will be printed and you're guaranteed the #1 signed print.

    Footage from the evening will be included in the Extras portion of the Blu Ray

    This package also includes 10 Blu Rays, Hernan Sanchez personalized voice mail, and production credit.

    Note: Travel and lodging to Chicago not included. Transportation to venue from local lodging will be provided.

    Note: Revolution X arcade cabinet shipping costs will vary depending on destination in U.S. Warning, This can be as high at $500.00. The closer you are to Chicago, the cheaper the shipping. This cost will be billed seperately.

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Funding period

- (30 days)