Midway hits Arcade again

Five more titles en route to Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade; Xbox 360 titles include Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Paperboy.

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LOS ANGELES--The success of Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade has been a surprise to gamers, publishers, and developers alike. In addition to new games specific for the service, such as Geometry Wars Retro Evolved and remakes of PC games such as Zuma, Crystal Quest, and Bejeweled 2, classic arcade games are getting a second shot at life in the homes of Xbox 360 owners.

The largest contributor of old-school quarter-drainers to Xbox Live Arcade is Midway Games. The publisher has released four games for the service: Joust, Gauntlet, Smash TV, and Robotron: 2084. That quartet is getting joined by a quintet of games this year, Midway revealed at its press event in Los Angeles yesterday.

Defender, the futuristic side-scrolling shooter and one of the most recognizable games from the arcades, will make its debut on next-gen consoles more than 25 years after it first appeared in arcades. Also out on a new route is the 1984 hit Paperboy, the surprisingly challenging game that puts players in the seemingly mundane role of an everyday newspaper delivery boy.

Gamers will then be able to go from slinging papers to slinging drinks by downloading Root Beer Tapper. Doing their best Sam Malone impression, gamers are tasked with delivering sarsaparilla and other libations to needy, parched customers.

Fighting fans familiar with Midway can thank the publisher for one of the genre's most recognizable catchphrases--"Finish him!"--by downloading Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Though Mortal Kombat creative director Ed Boon clearly implied that the franchise will one day appear on next-gen systems, gamers can get a head start on the spine-pulling, head-popping action of the franchise with UMK3.

Gamers who think that the next-gen player models in Madden NFL 06 look stiff and robotic haven't seen anything yet. Cyberball, the futuristic football game featuring machines in lieu of humans, will also be headed to Xbox Live Arcade.

"We've been generally surprised by the response rate...the paid downloads are more than we expected," Midway CEO David Zucker told GameSpot. "It's not going to change our economic success overnight, but it's a nice little business on the side, and we're glad that people are happy with the product." Midway's chief executive also expressed interest in doing similar projects with the PlayStation 3 and Revolution, should they provide that functionality.

Though all five of the upcoming Midway Xbox Live Arcade games are expected this year, the company has not released specific release dates or prices.

Discussion

63 comments
zappa2001
zappa2001

5 dollars per game is still too much. You pay 20 dollars per 20 games in some of Midway's compilations it just released in the last 4 years. The initial fun of downloading these games is dwindling due to MS making sure they release them as slow as possible and costing 5-10 dollars for games 20 years old. Street Fighter was absolutely not worth it in the slightest. I've seen some suggest here they'd easily pay upwards of 15 dollars for some of their hard to get 20 year old titles. Trust me we all do not share that sentiment. These games are old and useless within 2 weeks of downloading them making us question what were we so excited about in the beginning? I suggest lower prices. I suggest upgraded graphics which can be turned on or off. I suggest releasing bundles of games together. I suggest releasing 3 to infinity titles per week. (People aren't only looking at the new titles of the week, so you can stop that practice dead right now.)

Dvaquero1916
Dvaquero1916

why has it taken so long to release Ultimate in all its glory, after the butchered version that was realesed on the psp i lost hope. It must have been the first reversion of the game glitches and all. I hope for the best

treelog187
treelog187

I'll be top ten thats for sure if they have online mode that is! See you guys on the leaderboards!

nights_team2k7
nights_team2k7

Ultimate MK3? I'm going to make life a living hell for someone on XBL. I better start refining my skill, haven't played this in a while

StumpyTrash
StumpyTrash

This is exciting! Hopefully they will be able to keep the cost down although there is probably some level of work to be done in order to port the games to the 360 and then add achievements (as others have said). It'll be great for nostalgia, but what about the price? Spending $20 just to play ONE of these old games (as GameSpot had mentioned in previous articles about Midway classics) is a little much. Smash TV was a blast and it only cost $5!

GS_darkplayer
GS_darkplayer

Wow just wow. I can't believe that it coming out for XBLA. And i will get UMK 3 for my XBOX 360. And i will play it hard. Don't get any funny ideal of the word hard.

johnathan111
johnathan111

Man I know Midway is the best, since i was a small boy i always liked midway games, the Mk series and the rampage series. Thanks midway for putting the MK series on XBLA

Temjin5
Temjin5

ultimate mortal kombat was the best because it appeared on Sega Nomad

justnotme92
justnotme92

When we get a gradius game, I WILL play my long waited 48 hour long rush. I WILL

skyvader
skyvader

Why can't these games be made for live arcade in general? why do they have to be only playable with a 360? I like live arcade and I am sure the original X can play them just as good as the 360. The installed user base is pretty small for 360 as compaired to the original. They need to think about everyone else who has a live account.

Fallen_Zen
Fallen_Zen

First Street Fighter II Hyper-Fighting now Paperboy and UMK3! XBLA rocks!!

tenorio_rotc
tenorio_rotc

If Sony plans an online gaming service, they are going to have a lot of catching up to do. Not to mention that it wont be as good as XBL since a Hard Drive wont be included, or will it?

jonnyjd
jonnyjd

What a great concept. I don't own a XBox or a 360 but am very impressed with this service. Maybe I should think about a 360 and the Live network.

Fatality4u
Fatality4u

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, deer lord this arcade just gets better and better.

ReyWing
ReyWing

Has anyone seen that banned comercial for Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance w/ the boss of the corporation telling his associates to "FIGHT!"? I almost committed "harakiri" on myself from all my laughter. MK FOREVER, sonz!

Autolycus
Autolycus

marble madness(imo). Nicely done Midway. Just don't leave BIG N out to dry

iammai
iammai

another great work for midway. hope for better.

Seiki_sands
Seiki_sands

I downloaded three outta four Midway titles so far, and I liked many of these far more back in the day. That said, while Live Online and HD makes them clearer and funner than ever, they really should only be costing two hundred points a piece except maybe Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. There should be some distinction made between a hit in the early 90's and a hit in the early 80's.

OPOLO
OPOLO

I'm looking forward to Defender - can't wait

petejennings
petejennings

Lets just hope the other developers dont see it as a way to cash-in! More stuff should be FREE on XB Live - especially REALLY OLD stuff.

mikekare79
mikekare79

Awesome! I'm gonna have to download some of that!

KiLLer_ba
KiLLer_ba

UMK, Defender, Paper boy and Rootbeer tapper man Xbox Live arcade is getting better!

kryptin
kryptin

The Ikari Warriors series was done by SNK. Not sure who got the rights after SNK went bankrupt. As for why these games aren't here already is because these games weren't created to function with Live or do other things like give achievements. The developers have to revisit the game and almost recreate it with the new features. This can take a longer amount of time than you might think. Once they finish they also got to play test to try and squash any bugs that turn up.

Phortwenty
Phortwenty

man........this should be here now. Way too easy to do.

Optimusv2
Optimusv2

PLEASE stop it microsoft you guys going to make me go broke with all this new stuff that keeps getting added I can't keep up! Great news I can't wait midway jumps at the opportunity to profit can't let streetfighter get all the attention :)

Sathan
Sathan

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 was the game I wanted on the Xbox Live Arcade the most! This is the greatest news I've heard in a long time!

BlackdogGT
BlackdogGT

March. Next up on Marketplace, the return of Jeebus..

Thornorway
Thornorway

Great news that some developers take the classic arcade machines onto xbla... can we hope that more companies would follow in Midways footsteps. Would love to play some of the old capcom classics on 360 or namcos famous pacman series.

Gmex
Gmex

nice i loved playing paperboy....

Ryze
Ryze

Both SFII Turbo and UMK3 - ONLINE ENABLED????? The golden years are back again - roll on 2006!!!! Now, all we need are some X360s actually in the shops so I can buy one!!! Next - Daytona USA Virtua Fighter, the Sonic games, Micro machines, etc. All online enabled please - Thanks guys. Bill Gates is really trying to give us something to be proud of him by. First the Africa donations and now this!

spidey008
spidey008

Mortal Kombat!!! I will be buying this game. I hope that it has Xbox Live features. I used to play at the arcades every weekend. This is great news!

gamecube120
gamecube120

Finally, something I can be proud of Microsoft for. Paperboy, defender, cyberball and a beer...now that's a meal!

mattbyrnes
mattbyrnes

Buck_Hotep You couldn't have picked a better old school game. It has to have Live co-op though. That game was so great. I mentioned this in other places and most people never heard of it. It would be a huge hit.

beast0117
beast0117

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

kryptin
kryptin

Great, we now get both SF2 and UMK3 on XBLA. I'm in old school 2d fighter heaven.

wokisan
wokisan

Defender AND Paperboy......Oh yeah. Wow, I feel like a kid again!

Buck_Hotep
Buck_Hotep

Whoever owns the rights to Ikari Warriors need to make it available on XBLA.

juvinwo1
juvinwo1

MK Ultimate?? sign me up!! Root Beer Tapper?? I love Root Beer!!!

jer_1
jer_1

Cyberball! Damn, that one brings back some memories... I WILL be making that purchase!

monkeyman
monkeyman

Ultimate MK3??? My cup runneth over!

rapt00r
rapt00r

I agree with davahsa and icemancell; bring Marble Madness and Mortal Kombat / Mortal Kombat II to Xbox Live Arcade. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is one of the worst games in the series in my opinion.