On Midway

November 23, 2008


Over the weekend, the Chicago Tribune ran a story about the financial trouble currently facing Chicago-based video game company Midway Games.

The article cites Midway’s continuing stock drop, an unforgiving economic climate, and mounting debt troubles for majority shareholder Summer Redstone, as signs of Midway’s impending doom.  A financial analyst from Wedbush Morgan is even quoted as saying, “How much value is left in essentially a few development studios, the ‘Mortal Kombat’ brand and a library of classic games?”.

Well, I’ll tell you asshole: A lot. Midway releases like Pacman, Mortal Kombat, and the Blitz series are the reason many people got in to video games, (myself included) and their probable closure represents a true Nerd tragedy, particularly for those who reside in Chicago. With the recent shutdown of EA Chicago, the city is sorely in need of developers, and although  Day 1 Studios still fights the good fight, the closure of Midway would represent the end of one  the most important video game companies of all time.

Direct Link to Youtube Video

The really sad thing is that Midway is still releasing great games. Blitz: The League II is super fun, and the underlying commentary on the NFL and sports in general, as well as the gratuitous ultra-violence, makes it a truly unique must-play in a genre commonly known for being generic and overcrowded. The recently released Mortal Kombat Vs. DC is a masterpiece, and represents a wet dream for any self-respecting video game/comic book nerd. The concept alone is worth checking out, and the fact that the game is well-thought out and mechanically sound elevates the title from good idea to exceptionally great game.

Direct Link to Youtube Video

As the holiday season approaches, and scratch is slim, every consumer decision counts. Games consistently represent one of the most popular gift choices this time of year, and it is more important then ever to think about where your dollars are going. Put Blitz: The League II and/or Mortal Kombat Vs. DC on your list not only because the games are good/fun/bloody, but because Midway needs and deserves our help.  So please, support your local video game developer and buy Midway.

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