West End Games began in New York City in 1974 as a small independent publisher of historical and fantasy board games. Mr. Daniel Scott Palter, who founded the company, played the role of president and owner from West End's inception until its purchase by Humanoids Inc., a subsidiary of one of the largest European graphic album publishers, in 2001. In late 2003, Humanoids sold most of the West End Games assets to Eric Gibson of Purgatory Publishing Inc. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The first games produced by the company included South Mountain, Star Trek: The Adventure Game, Chickamauga, Web and Starship, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Killer Angels, and Imperium Romanum, many of which remain industry classics. They firmly established the West End Games trademark in the marketplace.
By 1986, West End Games had started moving away from its historical and fantasy board game background with its first roleplaying game, Paranoia. The success of Paranoia quickly led to West End's first licensed roleplaying game, Ghostbusters.
A year later, through a licensing agreement with Lucasfilm Ltd., West End released The Star Wars Roleplaying Game. With the success of this game line, West End Games established itself as a leading company in the roleplaying game industry. New corporate offices were constructed in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, and the entire company relocated to the site during 1988. In 2004, the new owner, Eric Gibson, move West End Games to its latest location in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Over the ensuing years, West End designed and produced a number of original game titles (Torg, Shatterzone, and Bloodshadows) along with several licensed lines (DC Universe, Indiana Jones, Men in Black, Metabarons, Tales From The Crypt, Species, Tank Girl, Aden, Hercules, Xena,, and Necroscope). As of October 2004, West End has published more than 365 roleplaying game and game-related products, including rulebooks, sourcebooks, adventures, board games, novels, miniatures, and comic books.