[UPDATE] Final Midway developer scooped up by WWE and UFC publisher; deal does not include TNA Impact! license; UK, French offices bought for €1 ($1.42)
Last November, media mogul Sumner Redstone's National Amusements corporation sold off an 87 percent stake in Midway Games, once valued at $30 million, for just $100,000. The low price gave Redstone a massive tax write-off and paved the way for the buyer, financier Mark Thomas, to receive a $5 million settlement following a creditor suit.
Midway's ludicrously low 2008 price was further underlined last week, less than a month after most of its assets were sold to Warner Bros. for $49 million. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Midway's San Diego studio, developer of TNA Impact! Wrestling, was bought for $200,000 by THQ, publisher of the WWE wrestling and UFC mixed martial arts games.
Unsurprisingly, the deal did not include the license for TNA, a WWE competitor. However, 40 Midway San Diego employees were offered jobs by THQ, which will also pay vacation time to those who stayed on after the studio was given 60 days' notice it was being shut down in July. Along with other, unspecified "assumed liabilities under assumed contracts," the employment costs will be in addition to the $200,000 purchase sum.
Midway San Diego's purchase means that Midway has all but ceased to exist. Wheelman developer Midway Newcastle was closed last month, shortly before all 60 employees at the company's Chicago headquarters were told they would be laid off. Midway's Seattle and Chicago studios were bought outright by Warner Bros., which retained most of their employees. Currently, the latter studio is hard at work on the next Mortal Kombat game, which will reportedly return the franchise to its M-rated, ultraviolent roots after the T-for-Teen rated Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (see below).
[UPDATE] The same SEC filing also featured details of the buyout of Midway's European offices. German subsidiary Midway Games GmbH was sold to the firm F+F Publishing GmbH for just €1 ($1.42). The company's French and UK offices, Midway Games SAS and Midway Games Limited, went for even cheaper, with German enterprise company Spiess Media Holding UG scooping up the pair for €1 ($1.42)--or €0.50 ($0.71) each. Those prices may be deceptive, however, since the purchasers will also have to settle any outstanding obligations the companies have.
one of Midway's bigger mistakes, in my opinion, was they stopped making the Hitz and Blitz games, I myself not being such a big sport dork loved the arcade action of these games... then they tried to copy EA by making sports sims, which ruined the series; to me, it didn't get any better than Hitz & Blitz 2003 versions I have to give them credit though, toward the end I did think that Stranglehold was a last great attempt to establish themselves, and I actually really enjoyed the game even though most people complain about the half-ass multiplayer (completely ignoring how awesome the single play campaign was).. but that fell through, and I wasn't too big on Unreal Tournament 3, I think mostly the hype about that game was mostly between the PS3 and X360 fans arguing fanboyishly about exclusivity oh, and yeah, their focus on making Mortal Kombat games was just as horrible as Sega's tired efforts to re-establish Sonic as the hip n' cool mascot it used to be back in the SNES/Genesis days, the popularity of the MK games back in the days I used to pump quarters into the arcade machines was over the awesomeness of all the gore the game used to have over any other game, but as games got more mature the MK series just seemed to get more "meh"; Midway never understood this and that was one of their bigger flaws as well
being a former midway employee (over 5yrs ago)and all...i say GOOD riddance! testing their bug-filled games for hours on end and them still being lazy and still not fixing what me and others were reporting was so inexscusable! so many projects were canceled and it cuased me and others to be laid off around the holidays without WARNING. what's funny to me is that midway never changed even after i moved on to other employment. the only games they seemed to care mostly were the mk series and a couple of 1st person shooters. that lack of focus on other projects and not paying attention and correcting major details, gave midway a bad rep. good luck to warner bros.! i think they will do better for the franchise.
Poor Midway shareholders... they got hosed for the benefit of executives and their negotiations behind closed doors. After financial firms and automakers, are computer games the next industry of stock holders getting screwed?
Glad to hear about the new MK "M" rating. I mean for gods sake, that's like making a Silent Hill game rated Teen. As if.
@XxSubZeroAK47xX Never seen a THQ M rated game? Here are a few lately. Red Fraction, Warhammer 40K, Saints Row 2.
I believe THQ bought the Midway San Diego studio just so they could get the rights to the TNA license games but failed to get approval from TNA because they still had the WWE license. It would be great to have a WWE vs. TNA wrestling game though, you could choose to fight in a four-sided ring or a six sided-ring and battle in the WWE brands or TNA brands with both rosters. It's too bad the competitors doesn't think so.
We knew this was coming. I had a friend who was a game tester at Midway. He hated it. They forced him to play some horrible games for weeks trying to find bugs. lol!! He did get to play a couple of decent games, but most of them were crap he said. Midway was like 'Acclaim', which went bankrupted and closed their doors. Then they reopened and was online only. They have free to play games on their website. http://www.acclaim.com/
So if THQ buys Midway dose that mean that Mortal Kombat will always be a T game and never be a M game. Because I have not seen an M game by THQ.
Midway forever! It's sad to see one of the more influential companies go. But they will always be remembered! Heh, it would've been funny if TNA was included with the deal...
Bravo THQ! You'll probably get some pretty grateful and hard working employees for what you're doing.
I was hoping this wasn't going to happen. I wonder if THQ will still keep the development quarters in SD...
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