Midway gets $33 million Warner Bros. bid

Media giant offers to buy assets of bankrupt publisher, including Mortal Kombat and Wheelman; deal would not cover TNA license, San Diego and Newcastle studios.


When it took back the Lord of the Rings license earlier this year, it was clear Time Warner was beefing up its game arm, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Today, the company made an offer that, if approved by the bankruptcy courts, would make the division positively brawny, thanks to the Mortal Kombat license.

A Warner buyout could portend a Batman film/Mortal Kombat cross-over.
A Warner buyout could portend a Batman film/Mortal Kombat cross-over.

This morning, Midway Games corporate communications director Geoffrey Mogilner confirmed to GameSpot that the media giant has put a bid down for most of the bankrupt publisher's assets. "Warner came in with an initial bid for $33 million for consideration for inventory, accounts receivable, and most of the US assets, including the Mortal Kombat and Wheelman assets," said the executive.

The offer does not include Midway's Newcastle (UK) and San Diego studios, nor the TNA Impact wrestling license, said Mogilner. Nor would it make the buyer assume any debt or liabilities of Midway, or entangle it in the legal actions surrounding its sale to a mystery buyer last year.

The "stalking horse" asset purchase agreement--so named by the vagaries of finance after the ungulates that helped the British hunt foxes--is the first step in a month-long court-supervised auction. "There's going to be a bidding process initiated as soon as there's a hearing to approve this motion for about 30 days," said Mogilner. "The bidding process ends with a hearing which will determine the winning bidder. It could be one group which buys pieces [of Midway], it could be one buyer that takes it all."

As for Warners' possible competitors, Moligner declined to name names. "There's a number of interested parties, but this is the first one that came forth with a written offer," he said.

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Avatar image for Kombatchamp

Hmm, well now this is interesting.....so many different cross overs that spring to mind here. But if they made a fighting game with all the looney tunes, DC characters and mk, then you would have a funny, disturbing gory game. Imagine bugs bunny doing a fatality with his big bunny feet or Elmer Fudd saying "be very quiet I am hunting rabbits" before he blasts away. Jokes aside though it may not be a bad thing for midway as they have struggled a bit and it's time they had a rehash and shake up of new management as clearly there has been some very bad choices made in the past.

Avatar image for risk93

Shame, TNA 2 could have a lot of potential...

Avatar image for hannify

Hmm this bid seems too much in Warner Bros. favour. No debt assumed or anything

Avatar image for SciFiCat

Mortal Kombat VS. Looney Tunes, confirmed!

Avatar image for combatsoldier

I love warner bros. and I love midway. This is a win win situation in my book.

Avatar image for Briantb_2008

this scares me i don't really play any midway games but I stay well clear of any games that warner bros. has any fingers on. If they take over it means that many more games I have to weed thou.

Avatar image for MrG31

I agree that they should start from scratch and create a new Mortal Kombat. They'd have to take full advantage of graphic capabilities and make it as gory as possible though. I mean really realistic gore. Hear bones crunching, have the controller vibrate as you slide the spinal cord out....

Avatar image for simonsworld

thats a dam shame, tna needs that game its massive for them, but kudos to warner bros for giving a helping hand!

Avatar image for jimbo102671

While I'm not too big on Mortal Kombat, I do wonder what this will mean for the other IPs Midway controls (Gauntlet, Spy Hunter, etc.), including the 1980s classics originally by Williams (Defender, Joust, etc.).

Avatar image for luvthyherbals

Just please dont screw up Mortal kombat. lets get real fatality's in the next one

Avatar image for Microwin

"Warner buyout could portend a Batman film/Mortal Kombat cross-over" oh lord...

Avatar image for tonicmole

If they put a real dev team behind Mortal Kombat franchise they might have something. I don't think it's worth $33 million, but oh well.

Avatar image for maverick_76

Well this could be a very lucrative deal for Warner Bros. if they can rejuvenate some of the classics that Midway has to offer. I think a good step for them to take is to start coming out with their sports titles again, unfortunately the NFL and MLB is tied up so only NBA Jam and NHL Hitz can be made right now.

Avatar image for supezombiejesus

all right GeigerdolylWodd calm down .... rant much

Avatar image for Targzissian

I've got the art book that Midway released. Cool concept art and designs in there. Too bad about the bankruptcy.

Avatar image for GeigerdolylWodd

cardinalphoenix Posted May 22, 2009 2:09 pm CT

If Warner wants to do something cool with the Mortal Kombat premise, they should start from scratch. Give us maybe 10 or so really deep, interesting and brand new characters, add in some crafty body damage aspects, maybe some storyline branches, some in-between beat 'em up segments for good measure...and I think it can go somewhere...what does anyone else think? :-)

@ the proposed crafty body damage: I think that would kind of be a rehash of what they did with MK Deadly alliance, and MK Armageddon.

If not it would definitely be a rehash of what John Tobias and Studio Gigante did with their attempt at a rival fighting game called Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus.

Like you said there's not much they could do with MK although here's a thought. You know how they've tried to do the whole fighting style switching thing in the aforementioned MK Armageddon and MK Deadly Alliance?

What if they did away with the current 2 punch 2 kick button setup and adopted the traditional 3 punch 3 kick setup but had 2 buttons devoted to 1 of each of the 3 fighting styles.

In other words let's say Liu Kang has wing chun, Okinawan karate, and traditional boxing as his 3 fighting styles. So the 1 punch and the 1 kick button directly below it would be devoted to 1 punch and 1 kick in the wing chun style.

Likewise the punch right next to it and the kick below that punch would be devoted to traditional Boxing (where the kick would be used to deliver right hand punches and the punch button would be used to deliver left hand punches).

The punch next to that and the kick below it would be devoted to the Okinawan karate fighting style. Instead of having to press a style switching button you go straight to the fighting and the mixing.

Throw in the inclusion of some natural limb self preservation AI, allow blocking (maybe it could be done by mashing the movement joy button in so it could work in any direction) and the matches would not always play out the same.
Avatar image for evildevil97

I'm looking forward to LEGO Mortal Kombat.

Avatar image for ele975

Disney knows what people should stick to, in Midway's case, Mortal Combat, they totally should make a new one, the bloodiest fighting game ever made, PERIOD.

Avatar image for thenephariouson

I completely agree, a 'Revamped' Psi-Ops game would be great, i also really enjoyed the 'Head Pop' ability.

Avatar image for SolarConception

I'd like to see some MK vs DC on the PC kthx. And MKII(SNES) on the WiiVC? Everyone knows MKII(Arcade) >* MKIIArcade.WiiVC Here ya go >> $$$ *ching* kthxbye

Avatar image for jjwalker9600

Sounds like a great plan

Avatar image for nappan

@steveguttenberg: No kidding... @sigerzx: How has that game NOT been made already?! It wasn't perfect, but I for enjoyed sucking the life out of people until their heads popped, lighting a giant marbel ball on fire, then tossing it telekinetically at someone. I can't imagine how hot such a game given a little more polish would do on the next gen of consoles... well I think ;)

Avatar image for steveguttenberg

It would be great to see Mortal Kombat out of Ed Boon's clumsy, amateur fists. Imagine what professional developers could do...

Avatar image for sigerzx

Psi-Ops 2 please :)

Avatar image for nate1222

Good. Now can they bring MK2 (SNES) and MK Trilogy (N64) to the Wiis VC? I'd also like to see GOOD ports of Psi-Ops:The Mindgate Conspiracy, Area 51 and The Suffering 1&2 brought to Wii and PC. Thank you very much.

Avatar image for MAspiderface2


Avatar image for DifferenceEngin

Hopefully we'll get some MK vs DC DLC outta this.

Avatar image for Mr_Manikin52

Finnish me!

Avatar image for LA_BooM_420

yea, new shaolin monks would be sweet, but its gonna have to be alot deeper and more skills, combos and an UNbelievable weapon count to sell me.

Avatar image for HappyApryl

I hope whoever wins this bid....doesnt make another sequel to the tournament mk...though I would for sure like to see another shaolin monks....I thought that was the second best mortal kombat ever.

Avatar image for godzillavskong

@BtmnhatesRbn, You really did your research ! Interesting, I actually liked some of the games from Infrogames, especially Test Drive Lemans for the Dreamcast. Good post. I got exhausted reading it!

Avatar image for Xenogears_Rocks

I hope this isn't the end of good Mortal Kombat games

Avatar image for ldonyo

Midway better accept this before Time Warner wakes up from the drug-induced stupor their board is in!

Avatar image for SotaWolf

here's hoping for another good MK game. they should almost reboot the franchise and start over with the basic characters from MK 1-3 with a 2d fighting style like Street Fighter IV

Avatar image for Gastman

Warner Bro does make movie like the Dark Knight, Superman Return, the Matrix, and 300, pluse they own DC Comic. I would love to see them buy Midway and make a new Mortal Kombat game. I don't think that they don't want a TNA games because they did own WCW back in the late 90's and it didn't help them they well but I hope that EA or Activision would buy the TNA license.

Avatar image for thenephariouson

Am i correct in thinking that 'Midway' were originally called 'Bally Midway', if so this would be good news as they've been going for many years. Beach Head on ZX spectrum anyone?

Avatar image for 2bitSmOkEy

Why jump on a sinking ship?

Avatar image for cardinalphoenix

It kinda sounds funny to me how they make Mortal Kombat out to still be some flagship saving grace for Midway. True, it was one of their biggest franchises, and I still love the series (even the movies that were iffy), but I'm not sure making another MK game is going to save Midway or net Warner any major profit. I mean, with Armageddon out, do we actually need another MK? It has every single MK character, 3D arenas, online play, and you can make your own guy...AND there's an rpg like game in there with brand new characters and storyline. There is basically nothing else that Mortal Kombat can possibly do to keep the series fresh, or maybe I should say, make it fresh again...at least, it seems unlikely. They can't go back to their 2D roots, and the simple story of a fighting tournament for the fate of Earth and Outworld has become so convoluted and bogged down with so many different characters, many of the cool ones (like Darrius, Nitara, Reiko, and Mavado) kinda get lost in the shuffle. If Warner wants to do something cool with the Mortal Kombat premise, they should start from scratch. Give us maybe 10 or so really deep, interesting and brand new characters, add in some crafty body damage aspects, maybe some storyline branches, some in-between beat 'em up segments for good measure...and I think it can go somewhere...what does anyone else think? :-)

Avatar image for DEATH775


Avatar image for tommystockley

You guys talk like the MK team wouldn't be working on it any more, lol. The MK team will be staying with the Game. The only heights Warner will be supplying is money. Don't blame the MK team for what's been damaging them, blame the time limits and low budgets they've been given. I think Warner will supply them with the time and money they need to make a Grade A MK game. Getting baught by Warner is a blessing in Discuise for Midway. Hopefully Warner will make an MK movie someday, and it won't be crappy like the old ones, stick to the actual story, it's better than anything anybody else would come up with, and for gods sakes get a good cast.

Avatar image for combatsoldier

I personally loved the new mortal kombat and its my fav. in the series. Can you imagine the new heights that Warner Bros can take it that ED Boon never could.

Avatar image for cajunstrike

Agreed. The DC Universe connection and bid amount are certainly interesting...

Avatar image for combatsoldier

AWSOME. I love warner bros. They made tens of thousands of great movies and also t.v. sitcoms from fresh prince to family matters. Great stuff. Now we can actually hope to see a good mortal kombat movie and one that has real story.

Avatar image for lanmanna

What will happen to Hydrooooooo Thunder and Rampage? :(

Avatar image for Rizer

I don't know about it being Warner Bros who does it, but Midway did need someone to get there rears in gear. I don't want Mortal Kombat being the ONLY thing to keep it from disappearing.

Avatar image for green_dominator

This is a sad time....Midway is one of the only old school developer/publishers that ever meant anything.... They brought us Mortal Kombat, Primal Rage, Rampage, Robotron and many other games...... Now they are gut gonna be gutted......whatever! All I care about right now is that MK and the MK Team is in good hands.....Hopefully if they do go over to Warner they might be treated with respect......Hopefully..... Good Luck Ed Boon.....

Avatar image for pakhair

Finally Midway got what was in store since last year Company's a lot of effort wasn't able to save it I hope somebody buys complete MIDWAY not in pieces because I wanna see Mortal Kombat, Spy Hunter, Wheelman, TNA Impact All of these games have potential but never somebody took them to extreme and these titles deserve extreme I thought WHEELMAN WAS BOUGHT BY UBISOFT??????? HUH?????

Avatar image for onikrulz

Its good in a way, WB buying it means they'll be making it for pc too!!!! Hey Magusat999 I love that avatar it brings back the memories of good old Chrono Trigger one of my all time favourite games.

Avatar image for magusat999

I see an eventual bloody battle between Time Warner and the reigning big fish - EA. WB has deep pockets and they are the new kid on the block - but they are already making big moves. It's obvious that they are very serious about grabbing "position" in the market - but how successful they will be is suspect. Lets not forget how they thought merging with AOL was going to give them ownership of the internet, only to have that plan tank because they took everything that AOL had to offer and tried to merchandise each aspect. We shall see where this thing goes, but if they are in it to win it expect blood and gashes...

Avatar image for boringdork

You forgot one thing, BtmnHatesRbn... Chuck E. Cheese is called Showbiz Pizza

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