Published in Games
Ubisoft to get Wheelman from Midway
by David Stellmack on16 February 2009
As we suspected, asset sell-off to raise cash begins
As we suggested to you last Friday, Midway needs to raise cash and we suspected that they would review all of their assets for potential sale. Evidently, the review didn’t take long, as we are now confirming that Midway has, in fact, sold the soon-to-be-released Wheelman to Ubisoft.
The decision to sell off Wheelman, starring Vin Diesel, to Ubisoft could not have been an easy decision for Midway, as Wheelman was the one title in development that has been getting positive previews and lots of attention. It was thought by many analysts, including us, that if Midway was going to survive Wheelman could be the breakout title necessary to get the company back on the right track again.
Wheelman has been in development for some time by Midway’s Newcastle studio in conjunction with Diesel’s own Tigon Studios. The game that bears Diesel’s likeness is an open world thriller that centers on Diesel being drawn into a gang war in Barcelona, Spain. It was originally announced for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the PC platforms, but it is currently unknown if the PC version is still in the cards with the change in publishers.
While Midway has yet to comment on the sale of Wheelman to Ubisoft, our sources indicate that the company felt the sale was necessary to raise cash to help with the recent Chapter 11 filing that we reported on Friday.
When we suggested that Midway would be looking at strategic assets to sell, we were quite stunned to find out that the company had elected to sell Wheelman to Ubisoft. The decision leaves only “This is Vegas” from Surreal Software, along with the recently announced Mortal Kombat game, as the only announced titles that the company has in the pipeline for future release. We would have expected that the company would have been looking at older strategic franchise assets to sell, rather than a new title like Wheelman that appeared to have so much potential to help the company move back to profitability.