Midway in filmfest flap

Organizers of Asian cinema celebration say publisher has reneged on sponsorship commitment.

Later this month, the New York Asian Film Festival will kick off, featuring films like I'm a Cyborg But That's OK, Retribution, and Bodyguard 2. In a move of cross-media synergy, Midway Games was set to sponsor the festival as a way of promoting its upcoming Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC game Stranglehold, a pseudosequel to Chow Yun Fat and John Woo's seminal Hong Kong action flick Hard Boiled. Early media coverage of the festival said it would include a 15th anniversary screening of the film, but it is not listed on the official site's confirmed lineup.

But with mere weeks to go before the film festival's opening, the relationship between the publisher and the promoter has had a falling out of sorts. As covered over the weekend by indie film news site Twitch, festival representatives have issued a statement about the falling out. The organizers said that Midway had pulled out of the festival entirely, and they only found out about the publisher's decision when Midway representatives no-showed an appointment to measure one of the filmfest theater's lobbies to plan placement of Stranglehold demo kiosks.

"The damage has been devastating," the statement read. "We had been working on press releases with their publicity department, organizing parties to their specifications, and promoting their game with our good name. We had expanded the festival, paid higher fees for movies, brought in out-of-town guests, and were planning a number of events to be paid for with the money we had been told was coming from Midway. Now we don't even have a quarter left in the bank to soothe our woes with a game of Tron."

Film festival spokesperson Grady Hendrix told GameSpot that in hindsight, the organizers should have handled the situation differently.

"Looking at this situation, we absolutely should have been better businessmen about it," Hendrix said, "but I guess we just trusted Midway more than we should have, and they really did seem like active and excited partners in the festival, and we really wanted to make this relationship work. When they delayed and said they needed more time for their legal department to prepare the full contract, we gave them the benefit of the doubt and accepted their verbal and e-mailed commitment that they were entirely on board for the festival."

The original statement reassured fans that the festival would go on, but that Midway and Stranglehold were no longer associated with it "in any way, shape, or form." However, Midway's own comment on the matter suggests otherwise.

"Regrettably, Midway is not able to be the title sponsor of the New York Asian Film Festival because Stranglehold's development schedule did not allow time to attend," a representative told GameSpot. "However, Midway still plans to be an event sponsor."

As of press time, a representative with the film festival had not responded to GameSpot's inquiry on Midway's current sponsor status or the fate of the Hard Boiled screening.

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Discussion

41 comments
ocdog45
ocdog45

as long as it doens't effet the game its all good.

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

:| How stupid Midway. They should be sued.......

nobeaner
nobeaner

The communication level between the organizers and Midway is without a doubt almost telepathic.

Symphonycometh
Symphonycometh

Feel free to bash me on this since this is opinionated, but: We all see Midway's graphics and gameplay.... That should've told us a lot right there.

spoof411
spoof411

i dont want fap, damn it, i'm a dapper dan man.

NightRain
NightRain

I read "Filmfest Fap" ... >_> *runs away*

Spincut
Spincut

from the way this story was written, it definetly sounds like somebody is overexagerating a side to this.

Proman84
Proman84

Looks like Midway only went half-way...

zidanem9c
zidanem9c

I think I will check out this years festival.

monco59
monco59

Score one for the a-holes!

Cloud737
Cloud737

Just when I was starting to have a good impression about Midway... So, let`s see, if this goes as I think it suggests, it means Midway aren`t much different than scammers. I mean, how would you categorize someone who promises all sorts of things if you do something from them, and then runs of and said he never said anything after you have done all he asked? If Midway does participate in the filmfest with the money promised, then I guess I can forgive them for the most part. Still, if they didn`t participate of late because they haven`t finished the game, then why didn`t they just say so to everyone a bit beforehand so that they don`t go buying lots of space just for the game kiosks? I really pity the filmfest. From the way the first guy commented, it seemed like his whole life was ruined and they had to go bankrupt.

tony2077ca
tony2077ca

i don't care so long as they make good games they can do what ever they want

gigabz666
gigabz666

I guess being a Devil Advocate of some sort, the representative of Midway at the end did mention that they still plan to be an event sponsor. So they would still be getting the money right? Just Midway won't be showing the game or anything like that, unless I've misunderstood something. It's still lame that they just decided not to turn up. They could have told the event organisers, look, this game is not going to be ready in time. So these meetings don't need to be arranged anymore.

DonutTrooper
DonutTrooper

Wow, all the comments have pretty much become "Midway you suck." Anyone for the opposing side?...Anyone...?...Nobody...? Good, Midway really f**ked a lot of good people, so I agree with everyone else on this one.

ShinAkuma777
ShinAkuma777

wow way to be part of a team midway meh everyone knows there bastards anyways look at mka

DoctorFu
DoctorFu

Midway games you want to play.. Hour of Victory for Xbox 360 looks pretty good. As for a boycott, I doubt I could come up with anything else not to buy.

jhellequin
jhellequin

Shame on you Midway! Maybe we should boycott their games - easy, because I can't think of any Midway game out now that I want. I think I can forgive them before Unreal Tournament 3 comes out....

MCW101
MCW101

Sue the bastards

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Uh, wow. Midway kinda sucks. That is really super rude guys. Besides...wouldn't you WANT to have a film festival sposored by you since you have Stranglehold coming out? I mean...that's just loads of publicity right there. Besides if Midway was already planning things with the festival people then isn't that like your date dumping you the day of prom or something? That happened to me by the way....

FayteEternal
FayteEternal

I think the possibility exists that there are circumstances going on behind-the-scenes that perhaps have not had the chance for public exposure. One cannot rule out the 'give an inch, take a mile' philosophy in that Midway's original agreement for participation might have been misunderstood in some form. Who is to say someone didn't overstep their bounds and put words in Midways mouth? A 'gentlemen's agreement' unfortunately doesn't carry the same weight as formal written contract.

Jade_Monkey
Jade_Monkey

Wow, Midway just earned the deushe bagof the week award.

lewser5
lewser5

Midway just got themselves some serious bad press, lets hope the game would turn out better than they did. The festival should of thought of a back up plan before accepting anything from anybody just by a verbal contract.

sangoanuta
sangoanuta

What do you expect "names1s3000"? It's a Chan Wook Park movie. It ROCKS!

nemes1s3000
nemes1s3000

I'm a Cyborg But That's OK -- Best damn title in the history of movie titles, ever.

Maeros4
Maeros4

yes this was a very bad move by Midway and absolutly child-like and destructive in a way to the other company/organisation. this shows they totally dont think of other people.

carddude
carddude

cool, i didn't read the article

Lord_Bafford
Lord_Bafford

IMO this might turn out to be a bad move by midway

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

The festival was looking good too. Bodyguard 2 was greatness.

hazuki
hazuki

Whew, midway spending so much on movie partnerships is going to make them go bankrupt. Especially so when you don't even get to do what you wanted to do, and that is show off stranglehold.

redskinStu
redskinStu

A hand-shake deal with buddies is fine, especially if you're just betting on the Super Bowl, or something. In big business, it's safer to assume everyone is Gordon Gecko.