Midway's CEO exits

Following flaccid fiscal-year results, publisher parts with David Zucker after five-year run; SVP Matthew Booty named interim chief.

At the beginning of 2007, Midway Games CEO David Zucker painted GameSpot a rosy portrait of the publisher's upcoming calendar year. He lauded a number of projects that were slated to come to fruition, including Wheelman, Touchmaster DS, and Epic Games' Unreal Tournament III.

David Zucker

However, proving the old adage that all that glitters is not gold, Zucker's projections didn't quite pan out according to plan. Although they performed well enough, UTIII and the internally developed Stranglehold both suffered from delays and staggered release schedules that hampered profitability, and in August, Wheelman was bumped to 2008. It also didn't help that Midway Austin's BlackSite: Area 51 and Hour of Victory bombed both critically and commercially.

Earlier this month, Midway reported full-year fiscal results that were lower than already-downsized expectations. However, even those already-disappointing figures weren't entirely accurate, given that the publisher said yesterday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that fiscal-year losses stood at $1.09 per share, as opposed to the $1.07 it initially reported.

Following this revelation, Midway said in succinct fashion today that Zucker is "leaving the company," and that senior vice president of worldwide studios Matthew V. Booty would serve as his interim replacement until a permanent new chief has been decided upon. Booty joined Midway in 1991, and according to the publisher, has held "progressively more responsible positions" since that time.

"Dynamic new leadership is needed to bring Midway to its full potential," said Midway chairwoman Shari Redstone in a statement. "I believe that Midway has the resources and creative capability to once again be competitive with the best in the videogame business. The Board is confident that a new CEO will be selected who can fully utilize the opportunities presented by this next-generation console cycle to renew Midway's position as a major player in the videogame industry."

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Discussion

41 comments
InternetDJ
InternetDJ

Glad midway has been having problems-there games suck anyways.

dj_c4
dj_c4

Matthew Booty?!?!? With a name like that, I think video games is the wrong "entertainment" medium to be working in ahhaha. *bow chicka wow wooooow* And on another note...David Zuckers photo really looks like a guy who would know what people want in a good game. He also looks like the love spawn of Bob Sagat and Steven Colbert.

wars45
wars45

yes i got unreal and its a let down even online not thatgood on it should bring a motal combat out on the next gen but it needs to be good

therealeu
therealeu

Bob saget has left the building! Freaky Flyers was a cool Midway game!

MannysMedia
MannysMedia

BigDaddy973 So you have had a couple of bad games! Thats ok From what I recall midway hasnt had a good game since Mortal Kombat. Even San Francisco Rush was decent.... but come on how many years ago was that?! I dont think Midway could even give there company away. They are one of those old time companys like Acclaim that everyone forgot about...

crazytank
crazytank

David Zucker the Midway's CEO? No way,its David Sucker

poor_bastard
poor_bastard

Wait Midway's still in business? I would ahve thought after the hundreds of millions they spent to release such AMAZING games as Strangleme, Hour of Defeat, and Area 51 black**** they would have clearly learned they suck and just given up....

MuBashi
MuBashi

F**k Midway anyway! Bring back Atari, at least they knew how to release a comlplete game. They need to get their nose out of decent stuff and go back to what made them big in the first place....... Mortal Kombat(and then chop it up and remix it a thousand times)....... EAT BALLS MIDWAY

MuBashi
MuBashi

F**K Midway anyway, bring back Atari to UT. At least they knew how to complete a game.

DvTJonahHex
DvTJonahHex

Midway screwed UT3 with its rush to manufacturing. The Demo was released and universally panned by the users. For all intents and purposes nothing was changed between the release of the Demo and the Retail product. Epic has a long history of releasing "when it is done;" UT3 has been out for 5 months now and it still isn't done. How much of this is Midway's fault and how much is Epic's fault is hard to say but one has to think that the publisher is much more likely to be pressuring the devs for release than the other way around. The meat of UT3, the game itself is of and up to Epic's standards. The user interface is amatuerish - everyone says console-like - and suitable for 10 year olds, not for a mature game designed for mature (M-rated) users. Unfortunately, the user interface is the first impression of the program and "you only get one chance to make a first impression."

digiteer
digiteer

Sucker and Booty? nah those names can't be real lol

Fat_Boy_PT
Fat_Boy_PT

When not even EA wants to buy you, you're in trouble. They should have given more time to REALLY FINISH Blacksite. And they should have made a new Mortal Kombat for the next gen consoles. Now we've got VF5 and soon Street Fighter and Tekken! They've lost their chance. And just today i saw a map pack for Stranglehold on PSN for sale when no one plays it online. Why waste time developing maps for a game with little or none online population?

shade1978x
shade1978x

Good. After buying Stranglehold and feeling, afterwards, like I got d-ickpunched, I'll never buy a Midway game again. Coupled with the fiasco with Blacksite, which looked like such a great game, the head of the company deserves to vacate his position.

starfoxmcleoud
starfoxmcleoud

So....what does this mean for Mortal Kombat 8 and Blitz 8?

phatrat1982
phatrat1982

Maybe *NOW* Midway will start bringing games to the Virtual Console and start making some money.

Homerj
Homerj

Well, maybe Midway can serve as an object lesson for other publishers and devs. If a publisher lets its devs play fanboy drama over a major title, then the publisher the proverbial financial anvil dropping on their heads. If Midway had reigned in the nonsense at Epic (pun intended), they wouldnt be in this mess, now would they?

deepuism
deepuism

i've never had any respect for midway all their games have been low-quality and fun-less. except for UT3, i suppose. but even that wasnt anything spectacular.

Pyro77
Pyro77

Damn, even EA hasn't offered to buy Midway out. Lulz I hope some new leadership changes things around for them.

wild09
wild09

Looks like Mr. Jon Stewart will be getting his spotlight back.

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

This company really is going down the pan, they need the 360 version of UT3 to perform really. I'm sure it has the potential to, if they've done a good job on it.

oldvander
oldvander

Are Midway going in the same way as Atari? Lol i wonder what it would be like if atari merged with midway...

Nafe
Nafe

yeah making 600,000 a year is not enough, he needs more to support his diamond studded swimming pool.

BigDaddy973
BigDaddy973

So you have had a couple of bad games! Thats ok Midway, I know that you will do it again, you just need the right leadership. You can always call me if you want ;)

Maersyndel
Maersyndel

Nothing against Zucker personally, but he reminds me of that guy from that 90s sitcom (add an "h"), Step by Step (?)...hard to take him seriously.

FearNinja
FearNinja

Zucker can't leave yet, he still owes me a Psi-Ops sequel.

zhivago_x
zhivago_x

First, I have my flame suit. Unreal's strength was always in its fans and modifications, maps etc. Now who got the bright idea to make it a primarily console game and make a dumbed port to the PC? And now they wonder how their precious game didn't sell well on the PC? I wonder why?

mrklorox
mrklorox

The headline should have read: "Midway gets CEO Booty" or "Midway CEO gets Booty".

edwise18
edwise18

Matthew V. Booty HAHA LOL

SonicRaptor
SonicRaptor

Midway needs better leadership, their release decisions for games is almost laughably pathetic. "Let's give Blacksite the same release week as Call of Duty 4!", "Let's make the console UT3 a PS3-exclusive and release it late in the shopping season", "Let's make Hour of Victory even though nobody likes WW2 games anymore!". Even their "good titles" have little weight. Stranglehold was fun, but shallow while Mortal Kombat is drifting in circles promising a "change" that hasn't arrived yet. At least they are doing better than Eidos.

K_M82
K_M82

just join ea and get it over with

LOLUISOWNT
LOLUISOWNT

WTB more (and of course far improved) The Suffering titles.

lamprey263
lamprey263

Well, I hope the new guy who steps up sees that they need to bring back both Hitz and Blitz series to the way they were fashioned back in 2003. After all, just because EA bought the rights to exclusively make NFL and NHL games doesn't mean that nobody wants to play a Hitz or Blitz game because it isn't endorsed by the NFL or NHL. Make a ficticious league and give us the sports action we once loved.

nate1222
nate1222

Midway needs to focus on fun 'arcadey' games that got them in a good place. UT3 was good but pales next to UT2004. And where the Hell is Mortal Kombat! I still play Deception on my GameCube. I find it ironic that all these 'tech heavy' titles aren't doing so hot: UT3 isn't as awesome as UT2004, Stranglehold probably won't rock like The Suffering, Blacksite isn't as cool as the very old Area 51 arcade. I think many devs need to simply go with 'base-tech' (lowest neccessary capabilities) and focus on fun and creativity. It's working for the Wii. I might not even buy that console, but I acknowledge its strong points.

DIMANICUS
DIMANICUS

Is it a large coincidence that David Zucker is the namesake of ... David Zucker, the genius behind such marvels as Police Squad, Naked Gun and the later Scary Movie films, as well as the upcoming Superhero Movie?

JackfnBurton
JackfnBurton

I never knew Stephen Colbert was CEO of Midway!

bertm1975
bertm1975

Stranglehold had little to do with the movie it was based on (Played the demo and that was enough for me), and Hour of Victory was one of the top of the worst of 2007. Blacksite was a bore, and without any strong titles like Mortal Kombat Midway was a bust this year. At least the company did the right thing and replace its CEO, unlike most American companies that keep their CEOs despite poor performance. They just fire their regular workers.

SM2099
SM2099

Oh come on!... why couldn't GS make as clever title for the news article as Kotaku did... that was pretty funny. :lol: