Saturday, July 4, 2009

Midway to Warner Bros

With no other bidders emerging for Midway Games, Warner Bros. has bought most of the company’s assets for $33 million, including the “Mortal Kombat” franchise as well as the company’s legacy arcade games, such as “Joust” and “Spy Hunter”.Mkvsdc

The bankruptcy judge overseeing the sale apparently wasn’t swayed by Threshold Entertainment’s argument that film producer Larry Kasanoff was the driving creative force in the franchise. (The Chicago Tribune quotes the judge as saying the objections, as well as those of Vin Diesel-owned development studio Tigon Games were ‘resolved’.

A pair of development studios that Warner opted not to buy will be shuttered in just under two months if no bidders emerge for them. The Newcastle studio has worked on the “Wheelman” franchise, while the San Diego studio has created the “TNA” games. Warner did purchase rights to the “Wheelman” games, but not the development studio behind it.

Warner picked up some valuable assets at firesale prices in this deal. Expect another “Mortal Kombat”/DC crossover in the years to come and possibly some re-imaginings of classic titles. The company has been beefing up its video game division steadily over the past few years and has managed to assemble some talented teams. It should be interesting to see what they do with some of the licenses they now own.

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