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Battle Of The Midway

It is official -- Midway is no more.

By September 13, Midway's home base in Chicago will be closed (the Newcastle, UK, studio was already closed, cutting the workforce by 25%).  Warner Bros. buyout deal was approved.  For $49 mil (and an estimated $69 to $74 mil in write-downs), Warners now owns just about all of Midway's IP.  So that means classics like Gauntlet and Joust, relatively recent ones like Narc and Area 51, and newer hits like the revived Blitz.

Oh.  And Mortal Kombat.  I was surprised to find out that the dev staff has over 100 people on it.  Warners is still deciding the fates of other Midway games in the pipe, like "This Is Vegas".  But Ed Boon, the current guardian and co-creator of the MK franchise, said recently that he's working on a back-to-basics MK for #9, and it promises to be ultraviolent.  Back-to-basics, huh?  Maybe he'll revive the franchise after all.

So the Chicago area loses another video game neighbor.  Farewell, Midway.  It's too bad things got out of hand for you.  (And am I ever glad I didn't try pursuing that design lead.)

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