Today, Cargo Film & Releasing – a global film sales and distribution agency – is pleased to announce the upcoming digital release of Insert Coin, a documentary focused on the history of Midway Games, a ragtag team of game developers with a simple punk-rock design mantra: “there are no rules.”
Director Joshua Tsui’s Insert Coin takes viewers on a raucous ride with the studio’s iconoclastic designers led by Eugene Jarvis as they introduced the world to industry-defining games such as NARC, Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam that earned over a billion dollars at the arcade and remain pop culture touchstones to this day.
Insert Coin is the authoritative insider Joshua Tsui’s love letter to Midway Games, where he worked on the Mortal Kombat franchise (and whose face was used for character Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat IV). A graduate of Columbia’s film school, Joshua also led efforts to introduce digitized video technology to an industry previously dominated by hand-drawn pixels.
Insert Coin features interviews with past Midway team members including Eugene Jarvis (Defender and Robotron: 2084), Mark Turmell (SmashTV, NBA Jam, NFL Blitz), John Tobias (co-creator Mortal Kombat series), George Petro (NARC, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Revolution X), and others. Also prominently featured are industry insiders Carly Kocurek (Coin-Operated Americans) and novelist and screenwriter Ernest Cline (Ready Player One, Armada). Insert Coin showcases the history of one of the most unique groups of game creators of the arcade and early console era.
“We’re thrilled to work with Joshua Tsui and his team to finally bring Insert Coin to fans,” said David Piperni, Founder of Cargo Film & Releasing. “Midway is so core to gaming’s DNA, and this documentary reminds us all of those great gaming moments from the past, right down to the sounds of Scorpion’s ‘Get over Here!’ to the ‘Boom Shakka Lakka’ of NBA Jam!”
“Insert Coin is the culmination of my work in and passion for the gaming industry blended with my love for visual storytelling,” added Joshua Tsui, Insert Coin’s director. “It truly is my love letter to the early days of Midway and how it influenced the transition from classic coin-operated games to ushering in a new generation of console gaming. I hope fans of video games, and especially of Midway, will love watching Insert Coin as much as we enjoyed making it!”
In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Midway Games took the world by storm with games such as Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, Rampage, SmashTV and countless others. Led by Eugene Jarvis, an acclaimed game designer in his own right, the studio dominated the market with hit after hit. Insert Coin looks at both the rise and fall of Midway Games and everything in-between – from the creative personalities who brought Scorpion and Sub-Zero into the cultural zeitgeist to the games that introduced the iconic characters. Midway affected the culture – not just of gaming – but of public consciousness as a whole. Featuring interviews with the team behind some of Midway Games’ biggest hits, along with games industry personalities, Insert Coin is the definitive look at one of the most important contributors to gaming history.
Insert Coin releases on November 25, 2020, as part of Alamo Drafthouse’s Alamo On Demand Digital Release and in independent cinemas nationwide.
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