Midway Games, Inc. (formerly Midway Manufacturing) was an American corporation dedicated to the developing and publishing of video games. Midway's legacy includes landmark titles such as Ms. Pac-Man, Spy Hunter, Tron, Mortal Kombat, and NBA Jam.
Founded in 1958 as an amusement game manufacturer, it became a video game publisher and developer in 1973. Midway was purchased and re-incorporated in 1988 by WMS Industries Inc. In 1998, it became an independent public company. The company began in the arcade game business, scoring its first hit with the U.S. distribution of Space Invaders in 1978. After many years as a leader in the arcade segment, Midway moved into the growing home video game market beginning in 1996, the same year that it made its initial public offering of stock. Midway was listed as the #19 video game publisher in September 2005 and the #20 in September 2006 by the magazine Game Developer. After 2000, although Midway continued to develop and publish video games for each new generation of home and handheld video game machines, Midway experienced annual net losses. In response, the company engaged in a series of stock and debt offerings and other financings and borrowings. Sumner Redstone, the head of Viacom/CBS Corporation, was a large investor in the company since the 1990s. He increased his stake in Midway from about 15%, in 1998, to about 87% of Midway by the end of 2007. In December 2008, Redstone sold all his stock to Mark Thomas, a private investor, for $100,000, and Midway extended $70 million of new loans to Thomas.
In February 2009, Midway Games filed in Delaware for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In July 2009, Warner Bros. purchased most of Midway's assets for $33 million plus receivables, realizing about $49 million from the transaction. At the same time, Midway settled with its former majority owner, Mark Thomas, to relinquish his common stock in Midway, which continued to operate as a Debtor in Possession. The Midway Chicago studio, responsible for the Mortal Kombat series, among other games, became part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and has been rebranded NetherRealm Studios.
In July and August 2009, Midway shed its remaining U.S. and European studios. In October 2009, the U.S. District Court in Chicago dismissed a lawsuit against former officers of Midway alleging that they had misled shareholders while selling their own stock. In January 2010, the bankruptcy court dismissed claims against Redstone in connection with his sale of the company to Thomas. In February 2010, Midway filed a proposed plan of liquidation with the bankruptcy court, which the court approved in May 2010. Secured claims were paid, and unsecured creditors will share a total of about $34.7 million. On June 9, 2010, the company filed a Form 15 with the Securities and Exchange Commission terminating the public registration of its securities. The creditors' settlement of their lawsuit against Redstone's company, National Amusements, in the amount of $1 million, was approved by the Bankruptcy court in June 2010.
Midway announced on May 21, 2009 that it had received a takeover bid from Warner Bros., valued at more than $33 million dollars, to acquire most of the company's assets, including Midway's Chicago and Seattle studios and rights to the Mortal Kombat and Wheelman series. The offer did not include the San Diego and Newcastle studios or the TNA video game series. Midway had previously worked with Warner Bros. on several games including Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Midway announced on May 28, 2009 that it would "accept binding offers up to June 24, 2009, to acquire some or all of the Company's assets." An auction was to be held on June 29, followed by a court hearing to approve the sale to the winning bidder or bidders. However, no other bids were placed for Midway's assets, and so the auction was cancelled. On July 1, 2009, the bankruptcy court approved the sale of most of the company's assets to Warner Bros. On July 2, 2009 it was reported that the Midway Newcastle and Midway San Diego studios (and various "old sports titles" that were not included in the deal) would close in 60 days if no one bought them. On July 8, 2009, Midway disclosed that it intended to close the San Diego studio by the beginning of September. However, on August 19, 2009, THQ purchased the San Diego studio for $740,000 and extinguished certain Midway obligations.
On July 10, 2009, pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement that was approved by the bankruptcy court, Midway agreed to pay to affiliates of its former majority owner, Mark Thomas, approximately $4.7 million in full satisfaction of all rights and interests of Thomas and his affiliates relating to Midway. Thomas and his affiliates granted to Midway's Creditors' Committee an irrevocable proxy to vote his controlled shares of common stock in Midway and forever relinquished the right to vote or dispose of the shares. The committee will decide upon the ultimate disposition of the shares. The settlement reduced Thomas's claims by 93 percent, and Midway continued to operate as a Debtor in Possession. Simultaneously, on July 10, 2009, the sale of assets to Warner Bros. was completed. The total gross purchase price for the sale was approximately $49 million, including receivables, and Warner Bros. assumed liabilities. The sale also triggered payments under Midway's Key Employee Incentive Plan of approximately $2.4 million to company executives.
On July 14, 2009, Midway announced that it had closed the Newcastle studio and terminated 75 employees. On August 19, 2009, Midway sold its French and German subsidiaries to holding companies called Spiess Media Holding UG and F+F Publishing GmbH, respectively. Speiss also purchased Midway's London publishing subsidiary on the same day. The European sales resulted in cash proceeds of $1.7 million and the elimination of certain intercompany claims. In September 2009, Midway shut down its Chicago headquarters and terminated its employees there. Many of the former Midway employees at the Chicago studio acquired by Warner Bros. are now employees of Warner Bros. On October 2, 2009 Midway Games Inc. and two of its subsidiaries, Midway Home Entertainment Inc. and Midway Studios Los-Angeles Inc. sold certain intellectual property assets, including Midway's TNA video game licenses, to SouthPeak Games for $100,000 and the assumption of certain liabilities. The assets sold, and the consideration for the assets, are specified in an Asset Purchase Agreement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to reports filed with the Bankruptcy court, Midway was no longer selling games in October 2009 and had disposed of all fixed assets by that time.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midway_Games. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Mortal Kombat Wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.