Midway 'hemorrhaging cash,' Boon getting $1M bonus?

Bankruptcy-court objection predicts publisher will burn through 75 percent of cash reserves by early May; <i>Variety</i> reports company struggling to retain Mortal Kombat cocreator.

Yesterday, Midway Games confirmed to GameSpot that it was considering selling its Mortal Kombat IP. The move is one of several the bankrupt publisher is seeking approval from its creditors for so it can pay around $8 million in "key employee incentive payments" (KEIP). According to a rep for the Chicago-based publisher, there are three KEIPs to retain workers, with two other bonus plans dedicated to keeping design staff in general and the Mortal Kombat team in particular on the recently slashed payroll.

Variety contends the lion's share of the Mortal Kombat team KEIP is for Ed Boon, who cocreated the series back in 1992. The Hollywood trade points to the plan's mention of a "key designer" who is "responsible for historically [Midway's] most successful video game series"--a designer who could, in all likelihood, not be anyone other than Boon.

Will Boon ever get his payday for helping craft what might be Midway's last hit, the nearly 2-million-unit-shipping Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe? Maybe not, if Mark Thomas has anything to say about it. He's the mystery investor who paid $100,000 last December for a controlling stake in Midway--the same stake media mogul Sumner Redstone paid an estimated $30 million for during the preceding years.

Thomas is also the same mystery investor who has submitted an objection in the Delaware bankruptcy court where Midway filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month. Specifically, Thomas' company, Acquisition Holdings Subsidiary I LLC (AHS), accused Midway of recklessly going through its rapidly dwindling financial reserves.

"The [Midway] Debtors are hemorrhaging cash at an alarming rate," read the objection. "Indeed, the Debtors' Budget indicates that between February 9, 2009 and May 4, 2009, the Debtors will burn through approximately $12,392,598 in cash representing an approximately 75 percent depletion of its cash reserves." The objection asked the court to allow it to impose limitations on the way the cash reserves are spent.

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Discussion

48 comments
mesc420
mesc420

Boo Hoo! MK hasn't been good since MK2 :)

living_wmd_888
living_wmd_888

If Midway does sell MK, Ed Boon needs to buy it,, setup his own studio, and get some backing from a publisher like Capcom, Square Enix, or Konami. Just please don't sell it to Actiblizzard... ugh.... Midway was a hell of a developer once upon a time, and MK is still a worthy franchise.

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

They should change their name to AIG.

jazilla
jazilla

if the company you work for is going under, you get no bonus. that company is trying to salvage what's left of its meager holdings. i think ed boon is already financially stable. can't say i feel bad for him if he doesn't get 1 million dollars lol.

KuraiMauri
KuraiMauri

midway started to die since the release of mortal kombat 4... the series was not meant to be 3d

djHaQ
djHaQ

Wow. All hope is lost for MK. You will be missed. :(

SolidSnake52
SolidSnake52

HAHA ya Garrainaigarra if street fighter vsd mk that would be sweet like they could battle dhalsims fatalitie burns them to death hahaha

Garrainaigarra
Garrainaigarra

Capcom better pick up the MK Licence so we can finally have Mortalkombat VS Street Fighter

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

So Midway is selling their best franchise, maybe Squere should by the company altogether since they want more western developers, then again, Midway's been dead since MK went to the 3D.

SolidSnake52
SolidSnake52

hmmm well i guess midway could be a good like company but i think they should well not stop the mortal kombat games but put a little more effort the game like we dont want original fatalities or somthing or creating your own fatalitie we wanna see like picture this...."FINISH HIM" sub-zero freezes so and so's head does some combos then punches his head the it pops or somthing or maybe even more violent i just want to see a lil more outta mortal kombat and i wanna see the next mortal kombat game on WII!!! :D

Henninger
Henninger

I hate reading these articles about Midway. Such a sad time 4 the company that birthed Mortal Kombat.

arcelonious
arcelonious

Sounds like Mark Thomas is mad for investing in a company that was already spiraling towards bankruptcy. It's apparent that Sumner Redstone sold his $30 million worth of shares for a measly $100,000 because he was trying to cut his losses and run. I'm sorry Mark Thomas, you made a bad investment.

thingta42
thingta42

NAMCO!!! NAMCO!!!! NAMCO!!!! NAMCO!!!!

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

So this guy and the guy that sold him the shares for $100,000 are trying to accomplish...what? First the sale goes down, then the publisher crashes with the burn near eminent. Now this guy is objecting to the bankruptcy claim? I really don't understand what they are trying to do here. _

StSk8ter29
StSk8ter29

CAPCOM!!!! CAPCOM!!!! CAPCOM!!!! CAPCOM!!!! :D

Hedfix
Hedfix

I reckon Rare could make a good go of Mortal Kombat, they've the twisted sense of humour and the beat 'em up experience.

Hedfix
Hedfix

Looks like people're heading for the door and grabbing as much on the way as they can.

Sniper
Sniper

The non-word "key" isn't used enough in this report.

starfox15
starfox15

Okay, think Namco Bandai Soul Calibur. Add Mortal Kombat characters. Both licenses have used characters not typically from their respective universes. The only major hurdle I can see is Namco's reluctance given its an Asian developer and Midway isn't.

starfox15
starfox15

Never been a huge fan of Midway. Get that out of the way right now. Okay, think Namco. Soul Caliber. With Mortal Kombat characters. It's been sold out to worse, why not go to a wonderful new home?

papavicio
papavicio

please somebody buy this ip and rebuild it, make something with it , its got a stablished name MK, imagine this game with carefully detailed graphics as more realistic as posible with a battle system more like killer instinct

thekodaman
thekodaman

What the hell are they spending all this money on? $12 million in less than 3 months? That's just poor management.

pluto213
pluto213

8 mill. in KEIP that is stupid. Where are those key employees going to go work if every game developer is losing money? Just another way to pad the pockets of the upper crust.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

How could this happen? I hope someone picks them up. I couldn't live without midway games.

FidelSarcastro
FidelSarcastro

I have to say I feel that 1M Bonus is justified, much of Midways past success is from the Mortal Kombat Franchise, true midway was making games before Mortal Kombat but Mortal Kombat really put the muscle back into midway back in the 90's. it is the house that MK built.

Koi-Neon-X
Koi-Neon-X

@xcollector yeah, that would be a dream match come true. I do feel for Midway though and I hope they make it. My question is this? why isn't somebody else picking them up? and yes I do blame the economy!

viewtiful_jay
viewtiful_jay

This sucks, Midway is one of those old school holdovers that's been around forever. They seem to have been dying a slow death ever since the arcade died out. MK was about the only IP they had that translated as well to home systems (and didn't depend on a license like NBA Jam or NFL Blitz), and there's only so much blood you can squeeze from that stone. Plus, a lot of their games suffered from weird technical issues, like Blitz: The League's ridiculous amounts of time it takes to save/load on the PS2. It's almost like they were never able to come to grips with hardware they didn't own.

xcollector
xcollector

Imagine if Capcom bought it and then released a Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat game. That would be the ultimate vs. game.

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

i cant think of the last midway game i played, to be honest.

master_hookshot
master_hookshot

Ouch. Sorry. Hope MK makes it. Never played it, but I know some people who would be angry without it.

01_855403
01_855403

as long as the MK franchise will remain in its glory then it is ok with me.

ivory_soul
ivory_soul

The only reason why most people hate MK is because they can't button mash and they have to actually think before they act. After interrogating MK haters it usually boils down to that.

fowler84
fowler84

i dont wont to lose mortal kombat i love mk for life

StillFreeTagger
StillFreeTagger

I think Boon should remain with Midway. However, as long as he sticks with the MK franchise I'm good.

nynthninja
nynthninja

qwertyu dont know what a block button is?

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

aww well we all saw this coming anyway...sure MK was good AT FIRST but just suked more and more over the years to the point where Midway's HP seem to drop down to 0 for a Fatality but it seems that to get out of that Fatality Midway will have to use their health pack aka MK..... which begs the question: WHOS GONNA FREAKIN BUY MORTAL KOMBAT?

LinKuei_warrior
LinKuei_warrior

this is probably the best fatality midway came up with

HeadrockBeats
HeadrockBeats

"Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe"? Begging your pardons, seems to me that this idea alone is a good enough reason for a company to step aside. Hopefully, to be replaced by a developer that doesn't waste its time on gluing together a frankenstein's monster of that sort and expecting people to pay for it later. I can't understand how console players still put up with all this crap, either (or rather, why they still do). In other words, here's to hoping a more talented company pops up to fill Midway's hole.

Megawizard
Megawizard

Midway's been in trouble for quite awhile, and I guess the economy's catching up to finish them off. =/

qwertyu
qwertyu

call it quits, MK vs DC, you guys make people that suck at video games think theyre actually good at fighting games with the countless spamming, I hope they never make another mk again

funkymonkey4710
funkymonkey4710

This is not a good sign.... Poor Midway, let's hope you can crawl out of this hole victorious.

Timstuff
Timstuff

I think it's time for Midway to call it quits. Sell off their assets, pay off their debtors, and hopefully the MK franchise and Ed Boon end up at a good publisher like EA or Capcom.