Midway halves Q2 losses, delays BlackSite, Wheelman

Publisher cuts shortfall to $14.3 million on heels of Wii Mortal Kombat and Lord of the Rings Online launches; sci-fi shooter pushed to November 5, Vin Diesel vehicle now due in '08.

Though Nintendo continues to reap record profits from the Wii phenomenon, the spring of 2007 will go down as a painful period for many third-party publishers. Yesterday, THQ and Electronic Arts both reported losses for the April-June quarter. Today, Midway Games followed suit, reporting a $14.3 million net loss on $31.8 million of net revenue for a $0.16 loss per share. That's less than half the $31 million the Chicago-based publisher lost during the same period in 2006.

Midway's shortcoming comes on the heels of several high-profile second-quarter launches. With solid reviews, The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar sold over 172,000 copies during the quarter, including the special edition of the game. (GameSpot originally reported erroneous NPD Group data putting the number at 71,000 units, and regrets the error.) Meanwhile, the Wii edition of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon only moved about 38,500 units, and the critically drubbed Hour of Victory sold just 16,456 units at retail domestically.

Unsurprisingly, Midway president and CEO David Zucker stressed Midway's third- and fourth-quarter lineup, which features a trio of the year's most anticipated titles. "The response to our 2007 line-up at E3 was overwhelmingly positive, and we believe this sets the stage for our upcoming releases of Stranglehold, BlackSite: Area 51, and Unreal Tournament 3," he said in a statement.

In an often-frank interview with GameSpot prior to this year's E3, Zucker doggedly dodged questions regarding The Wheelman, which Midway promoted heavily at E3 2006. The reason for that became clear during this morning's postearnings conference call, when Zucker revealed the driving action game had been pushed back to 2008.

The delay removes the Wheelman from the jam-packed 2007 holiday season, which will see dozens of lower-profile games take on such titans as Halo 3, Grand Theft Auto IV, Rock Band, and Crysis. However, Midway also announced it is moving BlackSite: Area 51 into that very fray, bumping it from its September release. "Our expected release dates for BlackSite: Area 51 on all platforms are October 26th in Europe and November 5 in North America," said Zucker, who also promised a "full demo in the next few months for Xbox Live, PS3 and PC."

Speaking with analysts, Zucker portrayed the delays as part of Midway's long-term next-generation push, which he said will kick off with Strangehold's release on August 27. "We believe we're putting in place the systems, tools, processes and talents for high-developed high-quality next generation games spanning a wide variety of mass market genres," he said, promising more 2008 announcements soon.

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Discussion

80 comments
poseidion
poseidion

I'm definitely buying The Wheelman........... when its price drops to $20 or less.

shawn7324
shawn7324

I was really looking forward to Blacksite in Sept.

KyanMehwulfe
KyanMehwulfe

172k for LOTRO? I expected somewhat more than that, but it's still pretty good for a MMO (WoW is basically apple to oranges; Blizzard's brand changes all things sales).

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

Blacksite is going to be great, I have played the demo and although it was short was left very impressed, it's going to be a really fun shooter.. I have played the demo maybe five times... I just can't wait for this game.. But if the delay means a overall better and more well polished game, then I don't care.

klasco
klasco

Games like Hour of Victory are pointless they are just another World War 2 game there's too many already they should do what Call of Duty 4 did move on to modern shooter or do that and add aliens some plots etc or even make a game called Gangester of the Hood 5 the next step for call of duty 4 lol

LEATHERFACE1550
LEATHERFACE1550

HOUR OF VICTORY WAS HORRIBLE THEY SHOULD FEEL ASHAMED OF THEM SELFS REALESING A GAME LIKE THAT LOL

kingeric420
kingeric420

All I know is there were 16,456 people who didn't play the Hour of Victory demo before they bought the game. Talk about a waste of money!

lamprey263
lamprey263

I think their worst mistake was putting out an Hour of Victory demo. Jeez, I guess they didn't know how to release a crappy game, which is it's like releasing a crappy movie; you don't give it to anybody to review before release.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

Too bad Wheelmand is in 2008. I guess it is a smart move though considering all the games in 07.

Maluk
Maluk

The only reason I rented HoV was to see how bad it was, and wow, it was freakin' horrible. Unless you're an achievement whore, then it's good, lol. Bery easy achievements, but $60 easy achievements, pfff.

ManOfTeal
ManOfTeal

These third-party publishers that keep losing money should ramp up their production on games for the Wii. That seems the way to go right now.

rafarmer
rafarmer

dmdavenport, we did get The Darkness, which was pretty good this summer. Plus the graphics have a similar feel to Prey, which is kinda uncanny.

edroc23
edroc23

Oh well area 51 looks like it will suck.

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

Looks like Hour of Victory didn't help them much....:P

jacob-goodlich
jacob-goodlich

who cares!!, nothing else matters now that gta 4 is delayed that was my reason to live, i hate it soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MichaeltheCM
MichaeltheCM

thats weird. u think they would have record profits as well...

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

They should get some more money via LOTRO, as it is an awesome game. Stranglehold and UT3 are certain to help their bottom line.

WarGameJunkie
WarGameJunkie

This game's sales just got the kiss of death by its own publisher. This game could have sold very well if it came out BEFORE the big boys because there's nothing else to play. Even with the GTA IV delay there's Halo 3, Guitar Hero 3 and other games to totally overshadow this. This game will probably be good, but with everybody on the 360 focused on Halo 3, there's no way sales are going to be nearly as strong as if they'd made the September date.

DNOMYTE
DNOMYTE

This delay aint so bad, I am curious as to whether they have anything on the MK though

HVPinc
HVPinc

Good. I'm glad they delayed. To many good games are coming out to close to eachother. After such a rush there will be a drought. I don't want a drought!

Sacred-Snow
Sacred-Snow

Blacksite: Area 51 will be a good game, but up agaisnt the 'titans' it won't be good. Not at all. UT3 will eb fun though.

ptown58
ptown58

Delay delay delay, there are so many games being delayed is this the new hype building fad ?

decebal
decebal

@ski11buzz " Blacksite: Area 51 doesnt even look that good especially with other games coming out around the same time. i dont think that it will sell that well. however UT3 is going to be the S**T" It's SAD people still buy games because of how they look.

EarthThatWas
EarthThatWas

They used the Unreal engine on HoV? I figured they just used a light bright and an etch-a-sketch.

tomjay31
tomjay31

this angers me so. it makes no sense to me why games are spaced out here and there throughout the 1/2 the year. there are so many games coming out between August and November, that even more publishers are going to come up short. i was really looking forward to and waiting for Blacksite. Now its going to suffer due to Halo 3, Army of Two, Call of Duty 4 and TimeShift. Oh well

DoubleC3PO
DoubleC3PO

Don't know too much about wheelman(Vin Diesel game?) But Blacksite being moved to November was pretty much a DEATH sentence for that title

ski11buzz
ski11buzz

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

EnderSR388
EnderSR388

Yeah, I can see Blacksite becoming the new Project Snowblind. Reason being, both are released AFTER Halo. Project Snowblind was a really fun game, but since it was released in the wake of Halo 2, not very many people played it. I still have my copy for the XBOX that I play to this day. Too bad Midway didn't learn from Eidos: DON'T FOLLOW HALO!!!

True_Blu3
True_Blu3

My god, what are gamers even supposed to do to play all these freaking games this holiday season!!! Seriously developers, if you want our money do bad, insert your game's release dates earlier or later so we can save up money to buy each one in order. Most of us can't buy all these games at the same time. Sheesh!

red_x2004
red_x2004

Its not looking good for MIDWAY, taking a look back at the awful Hour of Victory,but they do have good looking anticipated games at the end of the month,like Stronghold,other than that we got to wait until Nov 5, for BlackSite: Area 51,and i think we all know that it was going to be Released on September.

Beaglesniffer
Beaglesniffer

yup console gamers are gnna be poor for the christmas period lol

comelstr
comelstr

am i the only 1 who liked HoV

zapper188
zapper188

Jesus that's gonna be 2 months absolutely packed full of pure gaming heaven. No, wait 3 months. Bloudey hell though.. Area 51:Blacksite Stranglehold Halo 3 GTA IV Mass Effect Bioshock(Maybe) Assasins Creed I am gonna be poor Also Area 51:Blacksite's Demo was pretty decent and the ending was so cool. Only problem is, it will be lost in the rush of the release of all these games which have been promoted HEAVILY. A release in say, January 2008 would of been a much better idea. Release it after the hectic christmas where everyone is either playing to death or bored of there games and needs something different, A great game not yet released. And there would be Blacksite:are 51 Bad move really

dukerav
dukerav

One thing is for certain, Hour of Victory most certainly did not help them whatsoever. I rank HoV right up there with SuperMan 64 as one of the worst games ever made. Now if you will excuse me while I try to purge those two games from my mind forever. Oh and yes releasing Blacksite in November is indeed a bad move, especially with all the games that will already be out at that time and the ones after that month. I don't have very high hopes for the game to be quite honest, I downloaded HoV and Blacksite demos the same day, and to be quite honest, was not too impressed with either, although B S was the better of the two. Its a shame when someone is given an engine such as URE III and the end result becomes HoV, worst use of the engine ever. Here's to looking forward to Unreal Tournament III

yian
yian

Haven't heard anything big from THQ since Red Faction. Then again, I don't pay attention to these things much.

yaminoshadow
yaminoshadow

I'm surprised that hour of victory even made it past 1000 sales! *shocking*

Crusade_17
Crusade_17

lets c blacksite was to be released in the month of halo.....very bad...now it gets pushed to nov were mass effect and assassin's creed comes out???? Also very bad

Pete5506
Pete5506

Dang we have to wait for 51

dmdavenport
dmdavenport

Why are all of these games being released in the fall/winter? We could've used a "Prey" this summer and didn't get one. Now BlackSite is going to get lost in the shuffle, and it looked like it might be a good game. Midway would be better off releasing BlackSite in the spring. Nobody will be playing this game in November.

HALOISTHEBEST26
HALOISTHEBEST26

i can safely say that hour of victory is the worst game ever created, how can you create something like that and expect it to sell? i think they should have realized what was going to happen early into it and scrapped the project.

robertd1138
robertd1138

Considering it probably only took about 2 people to slap some Waggle Controls on MKWii, I would think 40,000 copies would be pretty decent. Personally though, I think they either need to give the franchise a complete overhaul or leave it buried. It is pretty bad when most people consider Mortal Kombat 2 the best ot the series.

robotecha5
robotecha5

Thats too bad for Blacksite I really enjoyed the teaser Demo. Seems like a solid AA game. But Im gonna have to pass since its coming out so close to a-lot of much better looking games.

kevy619
kevy619

"WillT12345 Hour of Victory sold just 16,456 16,456 idiots one of which is a friend of mine. There was a crap demo, and about a million reviews say RUN. This pretty much says, make a WWII shooter and its a guaranty you will sell at least 16,000 copies." My local Blockbuster had every copy rented out a day after release... unbelievable

dwmorrow
dwmorrow

The last Mortal Kombat game sucked. I bought the PS2 version for $20 and it wasn't even worth that much. Glad I didn't wait for the Wii version.

Pedro7_2000
Pedro7_2000

I'm still looking forward to BlackSite. At least we'll get a deeper demo to tide us over.

WillT12345
WillT12345

Hour of Victory sold just 16,456 16,456 idiots one of which is a friend of mine. There was a crap demo, and about a million reviews say RUN. This pretty much says, make a WWII shooter and its a guaranty you will sell at least 16,000 copies.