Category Archives: Midway
Tue, Jul 28, 2009 | 17:19 BST
THQ has hired former Midway exec Mark Cook as its new marketing manager for UK and Europe and plans to start marketing titles earlier as a new global strategy.
Cook will be in charge of marketing for Darksiders: Wrath of War, where he will spearhead the seven-month marketing campaign leading up to the January release of the PS3 and Xbox 360 action title.
“We decided early on that it was important to own a space with the release of Darksiders,” Cook told MCV. “Releasing in January allows us to build anticipation for the title, engage consumers with the Darksiders brand through the peak period and set the tone for 2010 as the first major release of the year.
“Key asset drops and events will be supported with targeted media across online, print, social networks & TV as we begin the Countdown to Armageddon.
“We will also be taking advantage of new and innovative ways to engage our consumers, like the VidZone activity we we will be using to support the Comic-Con drive this month.”
More through the link.
Mon, Jul 27, 2009 | 22:40 BST
After being plucked from financial quicksand by Warner Bros., Midway’s been having a bit of an identity crisis. Now though, it seems the drama’s done and over, because according to superannuation, a very crucial piece of Midway has been rebranded.
The gist of it is that two former Midway employees — who are now with Warner Bros. — list themselves as working for WB Games Chicago on social networking site LinkedIn. One profile also details the guts of WB’s game development force, which “includes Monolith Productions, Surreal Software, Snowblind Studios and WB Games Chicago.”
Midway’s Chicago studio developed Mortal Kombat, among other titles.
We’ve put in an email to Midway asking for confirmation, and will let you know as soon as we hear more.
Mon, Jul 20, 2009 | 15:44 BST
Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon has revealed images of a hidden Mortal Kombat themed basketball ‘kourt’ (Kombat – Kourt – gettit?!) via twitter that was going to be unlockable in NBA Jam and until the man himself said no.
It’s got fire around it and skulls and everything. It’s totally awesome. We’re gutted he decided against it.
Anyway, check out the full image at Destructiod.
Mon, Jul 20, 2009 | 10:56 BST
Thu, Jul 16, 2009 | 23:51 BST
The final numbers have come in for Warner’s buyout of Midway Games.
The Chicago headquarters laid-off 60 workers with the last day being September 13, which will not affect the development studio or its 100 plus employees or Ed Boon who were included in the buyout.
A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commissio accounts for about 20 percent of the remaining global workforce of Midway, the writing off of $69 million-$76 million in debt and writing down $41 million of impaired goodwill, or “the value of assets Midway held which were reduced or eliminated as a result of the Warner Bros. buyout.”
According to the SEC, Warner ended up paying closer to $49 million instead of the original $33 million, due to “inventory and accounts receivable” according to a report from Gamespot.
Warner Bros. now owns IPs Mortal Kombat, Wheelman, Gauntlet, Joust, This is Vegas, Spy Hunter, and Area 51, and others.
Midway’s San Diego and Newcastle were supposed to be shut down August 31 unless a buyer was found, but Newcastle shut its doors this week, cutting 25 percent of the publisher’s payroll.
More through the link.
Tue, Jul 14, 2009 | 17:41 BST
Midway Newcastle has closed its doors, according to an online CV posted by a former staffer.
“Yeah, it looks like this is the end for Midway Newcastle,” the staffer replied to commentary. “The last chance that a lot of guys thought would come through, and were waiting on the outcome of, didn’t end up coming to fruition so unless something happens at the 11th hour it looks like the studio will be closing.
“I’ve just heard that Eutechnyx, another local studio has let 20 staff go so there will be a LOT of people going for the same jobs in the North East at the minute.”
Sad news, that.
Sat, Jul 11, 2009 | 16:51 BST
Warner Bros officially owns Midway, along with Mortal Kombat, This Is Vegas and Midway trademarks, which has led some to question whether the Midway brand will continue to exist.
“Midway Games Inc. still exists, and the Midway trademark and games such as Mortal Kombat and This is Vegas and most of the IP library are now owned by Warner Bros,” a Midway spokesperson told Kotaku.
“It will be up to Warner Bros. to determine how they will approach their branding strategy.”
Midway began life as Midway Mfg. Co. in 1958, so it would indeed be strange to see a Warner label on a Mortal Kombat game.
More through the link.
Wed, Jul 08, 2009 | 20:46 BST
Tue, Jul 07, 2009 | 21:10 BST
Ed Boon has confirmed via Twitter that Midway will not release the planned DLC for Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
Two characters were planned to be released as DLC for the brawler, but now it seems likely to never happen.
Boon posted an image of Quan Chi on Twitter and stated that while he’s excited about MK9 and Warner Bros. taking the helm at Midway, he wishes the DLC could have been released.
More over on BigDownload.
Thu, Jul 02, 2009 | 20:48 BST
Midway’s sale to Warner Bros. got the OK from the courts yesterday, so once the $33 million check is cut, Warner will own most of Midway’s assets.
The settlement between unsecured creditors and majority shareholder Mark Thomas are a done deal, and intellectual-property disputes with Threshold Entertainment Tigon Studios have been resolved.
Thomas gets a $5 million payment, having purchased the majority of the company from Sumner Redstone for $100,000. Secured claims in the bankruptcy proceedings were $30 million with $40 million in unsecured claims.
Via Chicago Tribune.
[Update] It appears that the San Diego studios owned by Midway received zero bids, thus resulting in that location closing up shop in ten days time. The employees currently at work at the studio have been given a 60-day notice. Via Joystiq.
[Update 2] The 60-day notice with the closing-up shop in ten days applies to Midway Newcastle as well.
Sat, Jun 27, 2009 | 15:10 BST
Warner Bros. became the lone bidder for Midway this past Wednesday, reports the LA Times.
“No other bids came in, so there’s not going to be an auction,” said Geoff Mogiln, a spokesman for Midway.
Mortal Kombat, Spy Hunter, Joust, Wheelman and other Midway properties are part of the deal with Warner, along with two of development studios. Two other studios and the rest of the company’s assets are still up for sale.
There are still some hurdles to cross before Warner can plunk its $33 million down for the company. One such hurdle happens to be legal issues surrounding a contract dispute over Vin Diesel’s image and voice in Wheelman.
The next court date is July 1, so more news about the merger is expected then.
Thu, Jun 25, 2009 | 21:03 BST
Threshold Entertainment’s Lawrence Kasanoff has filed a motion to block the sale of Midway to Warner Bros. in order to “preserve his IP rights” to certain Mortal Kombat characters and the right to create film and television projects based on the franchise.
Kasanoff, the producer for the Mortal Kombat films, claims he made the series what it is today and says characters Liu Kang, Sonya Blade and Scorpion are now recognizable names due to his golden hand.
In 1993, Kasanoff visited Midway… with an idea to launch the Mortal Kombat concept in a totally new direction. Specifically, Kasanoff proposed to develop… a full feature-length motion picture, a television series, and other productions. Midway was initially skeptical, as Kasanoff’s idea was revolutionary at the time.
The Mortal Kombat series, as it stands today, is far more a creation of Threshold and Kasanoff than of Midway. Midway’s creative input was almost entirely limited to the videogames. On their own, the videogames provided only minimal back-story and mythology, and only flat, “stock” characters… Kasanoff and Threshold were responsible for virtually all of the creative input that went into turning the videogame concept into a multimedia enterprise.
The suit estimates the MK franchise has accumulated approximately $4 billion over the years, and according to a Threshold company statement:
“[Kasanoff] is the Producer of all Mortal Kombat non video game media including the two blockbuster films, the television series, the animated series, platinum selling soundtracks, home video, Internet, CD-Roms and the live tour.”
More through GamePolitics.
Tue, Jun 23, 2009 | 07:21 BST
Fri, Jun 19, 2009 | 22:58 BST
Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon has confirmed via Twitter that the next iteration of Mortal Komat will be a bloody one.
Here’s the series of tweets:
- Motion capturing special moves & fatalities today….they are kind of sick
- doin some kool fatalities. I hope we aren’t taking these too far
- @McCarron U r absolutely right. People want an M-rated MK….dammit we will give them an M-rated MK.
- still…they are sick
If you wanted blood, you’ve got it apparently.
Wed, Jun 17, 2009 | 12:26 BST
Tue, Jun 16, 2009 | 22:30 BST
Studio head Craig Duncan had a chat with Develop regarding the title, which after three months of work is playable, and says the team is not giving up just yet.
“The idea of a detective who sets his own rules is the sort of story that’s been around in movies for a while, but we don’t think anyone’s managed to capture the essence of those choices and consequences in games,” said Duncan. “That unprecedented level of open world influence and troubled morality is something we’re really keen to explore.
“It’s really important that people know that this is a team that wants to stick together – sometimes when you look at buying a studio you can worry that the real talent, the people, will just flee the ship, leaving you with some IP, kit and an empty building; the pieces of the puzzle that aren’t really worth anything,” he added.
“But everyone here as worked together for at least two years, with the original core team still together after about ten years. We’ve been through the ups and downs and all want to stay working together.
“Despite all that’s been going on, we’ve only had three people leave this year – it just goes to show that everyone wants to stay together, how galvanized they are as a team. They don’t know if they’re going to have a job in a month’s time, but they’re still putting in a huge amount of effort now; staying until nine in the evening working on this – and that’s because they’re all so motivated by the great project we’re working on.”
More through the link.
Tue, Jun 16, 2009 | 21:01 BST
Midway’s Newcastle and San Diego studios may have to close up shop in two weeks if a buyer or investor is not found for the open-world game currently in the works.
“100 percent of my efforts and focus are on finding a solution to keep the studio going forward, making it viable and securing jobs in the team,” Newcastle boss Craig Duncan told the Guardian. “It may sound like a football cliché but this studio is too good a team to have to shut down – it would be a travesty.
“I met with a number of interested parties [during E3]. When we presented the new game everyone loved it and was really impressed with our proposition. What counts against us is the timeframe and the fact the market is tough currently for both investors and games companies.
“If I had £100k for every time someone said, ‘a year ago we would have bought you’, I could buy the studio personally.”
The two studios were not included in the bid $33 million bid Warner Bros made for Midway back in May.
Thu, May 28, 2009 | 23:09 BST
After announcing last week that Warner Bros had made a “stalking horse” agreement of $33 million for the company, Midway released a statement today saying the rest of the company is up for bid.
“Midway recently announced a stalking horse asset purchase agreement, which is expected to receive court approval, subject to higher or better bids, in a hearing on June 2, 2009,” reads the statement. “There will be a period during which Midway, through its financial advisor, Lazard, will accept binding offers up to June 24th, 2009, to acquire some or all of the Company’s assets.”
These assets include the TNA wrestling and Mortal Kombat franchises, four studios, European and North American publishing groups, open world and casual games, and the full classic IP library.
Any company that wants to acquire the development teams would have to go through a legally bound “separate acquisition” without taking on the debt incurred by Midway.
Joystiq has more on this, should you wish to read up a bit more on it.
The auction is expected to commence on June 29.
[UPDATE] Or you can just read the press release below.
Thu, May 21, 2009 | 16:19 BST
Midway has announced that a $33 million offer from Warner Bros. to purchase a majority of the company is under consideration by the courts.
Under the “stalking horse” agreement, Warner Bros. would acquire all of the Midway’s US assets including its Mortal Kombat franchise and its development studios in Chicago and Seattle for a purchase price of $33 million.
The agreement does not include the Company’s development studio in San Diego and the TNA franchise games, nor does it include the Newcastle, UK studio which developed Wheelman.
Currently, Midway is waiting on the bankruptcy court to approve the deal.
Press release through the break.
Tue, May 12, 2009 | 23:44 BST
Creditors are suing several parties involved in the recent bankruptcy and original sale of Midway, including Mark Thomas, and Sumner Redstone along with his daughter Shari and his holding company, National Amusements.
The lawsuit stems from what the creditors called a “breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste and unjust enrichment” pertaining to the financial crisis within the company. The suit states that the current situation “arises out of a series of disastrous and ill-advised financial transactions that largely occurred during 2008.”
According to a 29-page document filed by the creditors, Midway’s board turned a blind eye to the sale of the company and wasteful spending by having “either approved of the transactions or, upon learning of them, looked the other way — taking no steps to investigate and unwind them.”
Redstone’s sale of Midway to Mark Thomas for $100,000 was described in the document as not only a shady deal, but as nothing more than a “massive tax refund” to Redstone which left Midway “insolvent” since 2007.
Loads of accusations there.
Gamsutra’s got the rest of the details. Go have a look.