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Friday, 14 November 2008 06:07

Midway Chicago lets 25+ go

Written by David Stellmack

Image

Finish Blitz and Mortal Kombat then out

More bad news comes our way from Midway. Sources are suggesting that Midway is letting about 25+ of the staff at the Midway Chicago studio go, now that the latest version of Blitz and Mortal Kombat are completed.

With the recent news that Midway lost $76 million for the third quarter, the layoffs should not really have come as a big shock, but the news still was not positive for the studio. who is trying to refocus and restructure to get back to profitability.

The Chicago Studio recently shipped two of the most important titles for the company this holiday season in Blitz and the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Both titles are very important to the developer for success this holiday season.

Blitz II: The League II is a gritty, no-holds barred football title that has received better than average feedback from reviews. Still, it will be difficult for Midway to pin their hopes on this title because many players have already purchased at least one football game recently and might not yet be ready for another. Still, the title is getting good reviews for breaking all of the rules and Midway is hopeful that it will gain some sales momentum.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (or MK vs. DC for short) has had more than a few skeptics wondering if it is at all possible to combine these two franchises in a way that captivates players and takes the action to the next level. Still, the title has gained a lot of interest with early visuals that have looked stunning, in part due to the decision to use the latest Unreal engine.

So far the early buzz has been positive, but somewhat disappointing, as complaints of skimping on content and extras have already been cited as a shortcoming for the title. Still, this button masher should lead the charge for Midway, but with so many other titles being released it is hard to know if that will be enough to make it rise above all of the competitors’ titles that have already been released for the holiday season.

While Midway is spinning this as a reevaluation of staffing needs after these releases were completed, our sources suggest that it was more of a cost saving move, as Midway is doing everything possible to slash the red ink.

As for the future, Midway claimed that Midway Chicago will continue to be the home of Mortal Kombat and no other changes are planned at this time. Our sources also tell us that they do have a couple of things in progress at the facility that are being worked on, but we could not get any additional specific details on what it might be.

Last modified on Friday, 14 November 2008 08:08
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