I don't tend to get interested in the "business" end of gaming -- stock prices, mergers, hostlie takeovers, etc. I don't know a lot about business or economics and I'd rather be talking about actual games. However, I've been trying my best to follow Midway's downfall because I happen to have a soft spot for the much-beleaguered company. It probably stems from playing way too much Mortal Kombat as a kid, and way too much Blitz as a bigger, college-aged kid.
Unfortunately, it seems that the Midway saga has come to an end. "Substantially all" of the last Midway studio -- in San Diego -- is being bought by THQ, according to The Chicago Tribune, for a paltry $200,000. I don't know how much game studios generally cost, but I do know that $200,000 is nothing compared to the $49 million that Warner Brothers paid for the rest of Midway. Midway Newcastle, another studio left out of Warner Bros.' offer, closed a few weeks ago, making them the only studio to fall through the cracks.
Midway made a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission last Friday which stated that THQ is offering jobs to about 40 of Midway San Diego's 100 employees and may interview and hire more. The THQ buyout is still pending approval by the judge overseeing Midway's Chapter 11 bankruptcy hearings.
So, what does this mean for gamers? Well, THQ won't get the rights to Midway's TNA wrestling series (just the employees that made them). Given that THQ already owns the WWE license, having the rights to TNA would probably constitute a conflict of interest. Interestingly, Warner Bros. and THQ have agreed to share some of Midway's old intellectual properties, but I have no idea how that will play out.
While this seals Midway's fate, this news creates more questions than it answers: what will happen to the TNA license? How are Warner Bros. and THQ going to share IPs? And are any Midway games even relevant enough for us to care?