Midway Newcastle: two weeks to find a buyer, or lights out
8:01 PM on 06.16.2009 // Joseph Leray
According to an (excellent) article posted this morning on The Guardian, Midway Newcastle has until the end of the month to find a prospective buyer. Midway has been hemorrhaging cash for the past six years or so and, in February, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Warner Brothers offered a $33 million takeover bid last month, but that deal would leave Midways Newcastle and San Diego offices out in the cold.
The British devs -- famous for last year's Wheelman -- are currently working on an unannounced, open-world game that uses a heavily customized version of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3. The way Midway Newcastle chief Craig Duncan talks, the game seems ambitious: "We can create a truly compelling open world. We have some incredibly new and unique features, and the art-style and general tone of the game are going to blow people away."
But open world games take time and money to do well, which will be a double-edged sword when it comes to pitching the game to potential buyers. On the one hand, it's an expensive investment in a troubled industry. On the other, open-world games can be hugely successful, and you'd rather have an experienced company with three months of hard work behind them than have to start over from scratch. Duncan's sales pitch hinges on this fact: "We're a seasoned team with a good track record and a clear vision and process on how to make great games – we are a safe, responsible pair of hands as a partner or acquisition prospect," he explained.
To learn more about Midway Newcastle and what they've been up to, be sure to check out The Guardian piece I mentioned earlier -- it's quite interesting. I hate to hear about good studios going under, and I wish the guys at Midway Newcastle the best of luck.
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