Saturday, May 22, 2010

Finish Him!... RIP Midway.

For me this is proof that the American arcade is dead.  Williams/Midway was the last great American producer of Coin-op arcade games and Pinball Machines.  Now it's true that they pretty much ended their coin-op operations in the lat 90's for the exception of the venerable Rush racing series.  They're properties are iconic.  Ms. Pacman, Gauntlet, Galaga, Defender, Joust, Rampage, Tron, not to mention Mortal Kombat.  I think they're down fall pretty much rests on not properly riding the upswing of console gaming in the last 6 years or so.  Most of their eggs were in the Unreal Tournament, which though a incredibly popular and successful PC series, it never really transferred to Console well.  Upon hearing of their struggles one area of surprise is that they they weren't making much money off of the UT game engine, which is one of the most widely used 3D engines in gaming.  It got to the point that no amount of Midway Classics compilation games would get them out of their hole. 

Any how, after struggling for the last 3 years or so they finally filed for Bankruptcy last February, and began liquidating assets.  Last week the final Liquidation plan was approved, allowing for them to pay about of quarter of what they owe to their creditors.  From what I understand most of the companies assets and properties were sold off to Warner Bros. last year, what this is about the the divvying up off that cash to pay off the various stake holders in Midway's shell.  

RIP Midway, you'll be missed.