Released in September 1991 in Japan.
Created by Rick Dyer, the co-creator of "Dragon's Lair
" and "Space Ace
", Time Traveler features a cast of Hollywood actors and digitally mastered special effects. Selling over $18,000,000.00 in its arcade debut, Time Traveler remains the first and only coin-operated arcade game to deliver a real 3-D hologram experience.
The game's action sequences were filmed in San Diego, California, with 40 actors and a small production crew of about 5 people headed by Producer/Director Mark E. Watson of Fallbrook California. The game takes place across many iconic settings from different time periods. All the game's footage was shot as if it were a live action movie. Few props were used during filming as the actors had to imagine fantastical locations while being filmed in front of a green screen stage. Some actors performed multiple roles, for example, the same actor played an obese woman (called "amazon queen
") and a chainsaw wielding character. The game's special effects, music and character voices were later added at a special effects studio in Carlsbad, California.
According to archived news video footage from TV stations in California the game was considered a financial success for Dyer's company (Virtual Image Productions) and SEGA, pulling an average of one million dollars per week during its peak at the arcades. The game's lifespan didn't prove so lasting though. With fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat becoming extremely popular, SEGA released the game "Holosseum
" as a conversion kit for the arcade cabinet about a year or so after Time Traveler's release. Though it didn't revolutionize the arcade industry as Dyer may have thought, it's mentioned he considered making a sequel and also adapting the technology into something usable in casino machines.