Warner Bros. only bidder for Midway assets

Media giant will buy most of the bankrupt publisher for $33 million pending court issues.


After Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment offered $33 million to buy up most of Midway Games' bankrupt assets in May, the ailing developer planned to auction off its assets in the hopes that other parties would outbid WBIE. However, with the bidding deadline expiring last week, the Los Angeles Times reports that WBIE remains the sole bidder on Midway Games' assets, dashing Midway's desire for a more lucrative acquisition of its holdings, which include its ultraviolent fighter franchise, Mortal Kombat.

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According to the LA Times, several game publishers and a Chicago investment group considered bidding for Midway's assets, but none decided to follow through with an offer.

"No other bids came in before the deadline, so there's obviously not going to be an auction," Midway spokesman Geoff Mogilner told GameSpot.

WBIE's winning bid removes a major roadblock in its acquisition of Midway's holdings. The acquisition process will commence pending the resolution of complaints filed in court. One of the complaints is a lawsuit filed by Hollywood producer Larry Kasanoff concerning film and TV rights to Midway's Mortal Kombat series. The producer alleges that Midway gave him exclusive rights to make films and TV shows based on the series, and those rights cannot be transferred to whoever acquires Midway. The issue will be heard in court Wednesday, and once the issues are resolved and the bankruptcy court approves WBIE's bid, the acquisition will close 10 days later, Mogilner said to the LA Times.

If WBIE acquires Midway, it will acquire not only its Mortal Kombat series, but also properties such as the Spy Hunter, Joust, and Wheelman titles. However, WBIE did not bid for some of Midway's assets, including its studios in Newcastle, UK (Wheelman), and San Diego (TNA Impact) or the TNA Impact wrestling license. Earlier this month, Midway's Newcastle studio revealed its all-new IP, Necessary Force, in an effort to attract a buyer. A Midway representative confirmed for GameSpot that the company's remaining assets could still be purchased by other parties in light of WBIE's decision not to include them in the deal.

When or if WBIE acquires Midway, it will not assume any of Midway's debts or liabilities or become entangled in the legal actions surrounding the publisher's deeply discounted sale to a mystery buyer in 2008.

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