Midway's UK studio reveals new IP, could be RIP by July

Publisher's Newcastle shop announces crime-noir drama Necessary Force, as remaining time to find a buyer dwindles.

In May, Midway received an 11th-hour savior in the form of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, who put in a $33 million offer for the bulk of the bankrupt publisher's assets. Not all of Midway's holdings were party to the offer, however, with WBIE opting not to include the publisher's Newcastle (Wheelman) and San Diego (TNA Impact) studios as part to the deal.

An early look at Necessary Force.

With Midway's court-supervised adjudication process concluding by the end of this month, Newcastle is actively courting a buyer that will keep the studio's doors open. To aid it in this endeavor, Newcastle today announced Necessary Force, an original intellectual property that tells a noir-style crime drama built on the backbone of Newcastle's Wheelman engine, which is based on Epic Games' Unreal Engine III technology.

Speaking to British magazine Develop, Newcastle studio head Craig Duncan said Necessary Force is the studio's attempt to distinguish itself as a unique development house. "I think that, because we were an internal studio within Midway, a lot of people don't really know what we're about," he said. "We're not really a driving studio, although it's in our heritage; we've got this great backbone of technology that enables us to make flexible open-world content relatively quickly."

Of Necessary Force specifically, Duncan said that its fundamental goal is to better explore the noir genre through the gaming medium. "The idea of a detective who sets his own rules is the sort of story that's been around in movies for a while, but we don't think anyone's managed to capture the essence of those choices and consequences in games," he said. "That unprecedented level of open-world influence and troubled morality is something we're really keen to explore."

With the world economy in turmoil, Newcastle's bid to stave off closure isn't an uncommon predicament, and the possibility of a last-minute buyer isn't unheard of. In late 2008, fellow British developer Free Radical Design, of TimeSplitters fame and Haze infamy, filed for bankruptcy after a number of its upcoming develop contracts fell through. Rather than going under, however, Free Radical was picked up by Crysis creators Crytek, who bought the studio along with its remaining assets in February.

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46 comments
pidow
pidow

It's sad to see people go under sense they have been around for a while, the job loss......!

ruskyandrei
ruskyandrei

In Max Payne the only choices you made were how to shoot people in a more spectacular way. It seems to me they're trying to make a game where you actually do stuff other than shooting so it's not really the same thing.

AnarchyRising
AnarchyRising

"The idea of a detective who sets his own rules is the sort of story that's been around in movies for a while, but we don't think anyone's managed to capture the essence of those choices and consequences in games" uhhhhh 5 words..... Max Payne - Max Payne 2

da_illest101
da_illest101

i hope they gonna come back strong because, well they really need it

pakhair
pakhair

Midway is doing whatever it can to save it's A**........ I hope someone buys all of the Midway studios............

Chrysus
Chrysus

After all the years of sub-par games can anyone get honestlly say they can buy a game or get excited about a game that is in anyway associated with this company? Hands washed. I'm a Newcastle lad & would be a shame to see my brothers out of work but Midway is a relic of the 90's let it RIP.

Treflis
Treflis

I must say I love this idea, being a Detective in a Noir story setting. I'll hope this'll be made and that it'll turn out great.

Erik729
Erik729

It will take Necessary Force to interest me further in this generic idea for a game.

Erik729
Erik729

Absolutely, Trooper. Psi-Ops was miles ahead of its time.

Trooperdx3117
Trooperdx3117

God damn it Midway just make a sequel to psi-ops that was the best game you guys made in 10 years

reckeweg
reckeweg

Its almost impossible to churn out a a completely new IP everything has been done. So find something you liked and a great one of that.

JOKER677
JOKER677

De Ja Vu? Hahaha. That was a great game but they make this one sound promising

monco59
monco59

Ugh, just about the most generic idea this side of a humans vs. aliens space war. It seems like every developer of ill refute hopes churning out a sub-par, uninteresting open world crime drama will help keep them afloat.

Arkk_Angel
Arkk_Angel

Midway as a publisher has always released mediocre titles. I'm surprised at how long the company has stayed afloat.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

Suffering 3 FTW, not some black orchid wannabe

c_mcafee
c_mcafee

The Necessary Force video looks really good, for what it is, so I hope these guys can get someone to pick up their studio. Maybe under a company other than Midway this studio can produce a great game.

gamermanps2
gamermanps2

Re-make the Suffering and put rampage on XBLA if you want to save midway.

Melty123
Melty123

Hope everything goes good there and wel see what the new games are.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

"That unprecedented level of open-world influence and troubled morality is something we're really keen to explore." Yeah, they have that already. It's called Grand Theft Auto, or one of the 100 or so clones. Then again, since this is better than the threat of another TNA game, go for it.

AngelCage-2
AngelCage-2

"but we don't think anyone's managed to capture the essence of those choices and consequences in games" Eh? What about NES Deja-Vu? That masterpiece have everything... choices and consequences all over the place. Great game by the way.

nissanmaxima
nissanmaxima

the last game i bought from midway was Stranglehold. i really loved that game. i bought Strangle hold over Bio Shock. but anyway aside from Stranglehold as far as im concerened Midway has not released a good game since the 90's such as MK 1-UMK3, NFL BLITZ, and the classic NBA JAM. pretty much anything they have done since for the most part has stunk. and dont get me started on that horrible mess called Wheelman.

wadah1111
wadah1111

I think that's good they saved them

Shinomune
Shinomune

Necessary Force > Max Payne 3

Fr4GG3D
Fr4GG3D

I wish they would make a 3rd Suffering.

cowmaster2k3
cowmaster2k3

I hope someone good gets the rights to Mortal Kombat... Midway was fantastic in the 90's, sad to see them in such trouble :(

Cornicello
Cornicello

Now that I'm done with screwing around I gotta say what's on my mind. As far as I'm concerned, Midway can shut down forever. The only thing I'm going to credit them for is staying open for this long and for being a great contributor to the development of video games in the early years. I think Midway has earned it's infamy and spot in history, but if they can't develop games that bring in top dollar then they don't deserve to remain open. They just need to face the fact that they can't get the job done so its time to move on and let a developer take over who can do just that.

Cornicello
Cornicello

I gotta agree with "ALLoY1717" & "ImaginaryFriend" that puppies are indeed cute. However I would also like to add that they are incredibly adorable as well.

Nephilim83
Nephilim83

Midway, just give up and die already.

DeadManRollin
DeadManRollin

I am happy to see midway getting a kick in the rear side....arrogance and no games for PC will take you down the drain.

thisisreallybor
thisisreallybor

ok all ex-midway employees... OFF TO BLIZZARD TO COMPLETE DIABLO 3!!!! (just do a good job, and do WHATEVER they ask!)

Pete5506
Pete5506

Well I hope things turn out well for midway

azureblade89
azureblade89

@ropumar "Newcastle today announced Necessary Force, an original intellectual property that tells a noir-style crime drama built on the backbone of Newcastle's Wheelman engine, which is based on Epic Games' Unreal Engine III technology." See? I know that the Unreal Engine 3 tech is superb, but they're not using U3, they've got the Wheelman edition of it; which as I said before, sucked. You're blatant accusations are further proof that people have given up on intelligence.

ropumar
ropumar

@azureblade89 It just saying the game will be developed in a in-house tweaked Unreal Engine 3 tech, which was the same used in the wheelman. Engine has nothing to do with gameplay. The unreal engine 3 was used in bioshock, gears of wars and even some SE rpgs and is the most used engine when making next-gen games. You better not give up on intelligence, because you sure need it if you don't understand what engine means.

amo_lang123
amo_lang123

the idea they have for a game sounds very similar to L.A. Noire....

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

I hope Midway can finally get it together. The last 2 games I bought that was published by them was Mortal Kombat and Stranglehold. Both of those titles were pretty good, but the rest of their releases I skipped on simply because of their poor reviews on multiple game sites.

azureblade89
azureblade89

But wheel man sucked. Why would you base anything on that? meh; i give up on intelligence these days.

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

Hope someone buys them up thing is there aint as much money to go around with people being laid off people need to be allowed to keep their jobs

cydninfg
cydninfg

I wonder what the deal is with that wb taking over midway?

Jackc8
Jackc8

Sounds interesting. There seem to be several detective games coming out in the future, and that's fine by me.