After fighting a long battle with illness, Tradewest co-founder and businessman Leland Cook passed away this week at the age of 75. He was known in the game industry for spearheading the American distribution and licensing of Ikari Warriors
coin-op machines in 1986, bringing such Tradewest classics as Battletoads
and Double Dragon
to the US, and for appearing as the military colonel you save at the end of the first Ikari Warriors
game ("Colonel Cook").
The Tradewest name was purchased by the now defunct Midway
in 1996, though following the publisher's collapse, ex-Midway Europe boss Martin Spiess repurchased the name
for use with his own startup. Mr. Cook hadn't been involved in the gaming industry for over 10 years, and instead served as the chairman of the board of Community National Bank of Texas Holding Company. He is survived by his wife of 56 years and his loving family.