With the impact of Epic Games' sci-fi shooter Unreal Tournament III on the publisher's bottom line notwithstanding, the past few months have not been kind on Midway Games. In November, Midway heavily revised its full-year 2007 outlook, from $225 million to $160 million in net revenue. The revision followed a dismal third-quarter showing, which was beset by delays and lower-than-expected sales. The publisher's stock price has similarly tanked, plummeting from around $7 per share in mid-June to around $2.45 today.
Midway's tenuous financial position has apparently precipitated a change in management. The publisher has announced that Midway executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer Thomas Powell has jumped ship "to take a position with another firm," and Midway has said that it is currently searching for a permanent replacement for Powell. In the meantime, vice president of finance, controller, and assistant treasurer Ryan O'Desky has been named as Midway's interim CFO.
The publisher also confirmed to GameSpot that it had recently undergone a round of layoffs at its Midway Austin studio. "The minor concentration of layoffs in Austin was due to the completion of a project there," said a Midway representative. "No, this does not mean that the production in that studio is being scaled back, and we are still growing our other teams and studios to fulfill our project needs. The reductions were routine and a function of our current project requirements. We have not yet announced the next project being developed in the Austin studio."
Midway's Austin studio most recently developed BlackSite: Area 51, which received lukewarm reviews when released for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Even before the game shipped, Midway Austin creative director Harvey Smith reached a "mutual agreement" with Midway to ply his trade elsewhere after sharply and publicly criticizing the game.