April 25th, 2009
1:47 PM CST -
This week has been filled with good news for Midway Games in their continuing bankruptcy proceedings. According to the Wall Street journal, Midway filed court documents earlier this week stating that they came to agreement with their unsecured creditors over employee bonus plans. The unsecured creditors were upset with the terms and amounts of the previous bonuses. Because the agreement, Bankrupcy judge Kevin Judge approved Midway's updated employee bonus plan. The old bonus plan was the one that sparked a lot of premature rumors about Midway selling off Mortal Kombat.


Under the approved plan, Midway is allowed to distribute two rounds of bonuses if certain goals are met. The first $600,000 may be distributed if the company enters an asset-purchase agreement with a stalking-horse bidder for at least $30 million. Filing a plan of reorganization would also trigger the payment.

The second milestone - which could provide employees with upwards of $1 million in total - requires the company to gain approval of a plan of reorganization or liquidation that fully repays Midway's lenders. The closing of a sale would also entitle the employees to extra cash. If the sale proceeds are $30 million, the employees will share a $1 million pool. For every additional $1 million the sale yields, the employees will share $75,000 more



Image: MCV
Further good news came from a few reports of a potential bid to be made by one of the aforementioned unsecured creditors, Warner Brothers, to purchase Midway Games. Previously the court along with WB and the other creditors had reached a target sales price for Midway to be $30 million. Warner Brothers is said to be particularly interested in some key franchises that Midway Games has like Stranglehold and of course Mortal Kombat. Warner Brothers also has many ties to the Mortal Kombat franchise, so it could give them many reasons to want to own the franchise.

Of course Warner Brothers is the owners of DC Comics and assisted in the development of the latest MK game Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. Warners also owns the distribution rights for the two previous Mortal Kombat movies. In the late 1990s the company behind distribution of the Mortal Kombat movies, New Line Cinema, was purchased by Warner Bros. So this may give them even more interest in Midway Games, especially with them hopefully thinking of bringing the movies to the Blu-ray HD format sometime soon. This doesn't give new hope for a new movie just yet, as the license rights are owned separately by Threshold Entertainment.


Image: Wikipedia
Also Warner Bros. is no stranger to the video game business either. In the late 70s they purchased Atari Inc from founder Nolan Bushnell. After the video game crash of 1983 nearly shut it down, it was sold to Pac Man developer Namco in 1985. Then, not even 10 years later in 1994 Warner Bros. repurchased Atari from Namco and renamed it Time-Warner Interactive.

During this period, Time-Warner Interactive produced arcade games like Primal Rage, Area 51 and San Francisco Rush under the Atari Games brand. Then in 1996, Time-Warner Interactive was sold to Midway Games in 1996. Midway Games later renamed it Midway Games West, and it existed until 2003 when closed that division. So if this were to go through, Warners would be basically re-purchasing part of the old Atari Games they've owned two other times in the past, along with all the intellectual property that Midway Games has created as well over the years.

Stay tuned for further developments, as it looks like the next few months could be very interesting.

Reader Komments from the TRMK Forums:



April 25th, 2009 4:07 PM CST - Glamador
This is like a coincidence and foreshadowing epiphany. It's like a child who buys a stuffed teddy bear at a yard sale, grows to love it, then lets it go at a yard sale of it's own. But then years later it realizes how cute and cuddly that bear was and wants it back. Or in this case, how murderous, violent, and profitable that bear was. But will the child re-embroider the bear so the murderous and violent parts are no longer showing I wonder...after all, he's a big boy now.
April 25th, 2009 8:23 PM CST - KornKombat
I feel that if WB bought Midway, the MK games would not be as serious nor violent, they would be more like MKvsDC games. Only thing I like about the idea is that WB has deep pockets.
April 25th, 2009 9:14 PM CST - Tim Static
Originally Posted by : KornKombat
I feel that if WB bought Midway, the MK games would not be as serious nor violent, they would be more like MKvsDC games. Only thing I like about the idea is that WB has deep pockets.
I dont think WB's would try to censor or sanitize MK.
April 25th, 2009 11:06 PM CST - Jinko
Originally Posted by : Tim Static
I dont think WB's would try to censor or sanitize MK.
Agree'd. The main reason why it was censored was because it had DC characters in it. I'm sure they will know that MK is a very violent franchise. But is this a good decision? I just hope they will hire Boon and team to continue working on the project or something.
April 26th, 2009 10:16 AM CST - Tim Static
Originally Posted by : Jinko
Agree'd. The main reason why it was censored was because it had DC characters in it. I'm sure they will know that MK is a very violent franchise. But is this a good decision? I just hope they will hire Boon and team to continue working on the project or something.
yeah, did you see The Watchmen??? 'nuff said.
April 26th, 2009 10:17 AM CST - Tim Static

April 26th, 2009 10:51 AM CST - Glamador
Yes, the WB has plenty of violence in it's history. It makes R-rated movies and Atari has M-rated games. I'm not really worried, I was just making a hypothetical and a clever metaphor.
April 26th, 2009 11:20 AM CST - Kurtis Stryker
As long as the next MK has good fatalities, and no silly ass friendships and/or babalities, I'm good.
April 26th, 2009 12:17 PM CST - Tim Static
Originally Posted by : Kurtis Stryker
As long as the next MK has good fatalities, and no silly ass friendships and/or babalities, I'm good.
of course! The only good reason to play MK and the only good thing about MK is the fatalities!!!!
April 26th, 2009 2:00 PM CST - Kurtis Stryker
*yawn* The fatalities from DA and Deception were mostly horrible, hence why I specified good fatalities... especially considering I dig the new fatality system in Armageddon, and I'm already happy with the direction that the game is headed with gameplay. In your case, the only good reason you have for playing MK is a fasnication with 2D, as anything beyond that is OMG THE FAIL BROKEN SYSTEM, FACTS~!! I'd insert a head slap picture, but I think most of us already know how ****ing silly you come off with most of your pro-2D/anti-3D posts.
April 26th, 2009 10:07 PM CST - Glamador
This has nothing to do with that Kurt. Tim's point is simply this: MK has more to offer than just fatalities. Good or not. I tend to agree, but I also want good fatalities. They haven't been the same since MK2. And if you look at the MK2 remake, MKSM, you'll find the fatalities are once again fantastic. All we need to do for good fatalities is go back to MK2!
April 27th, 2009 8:23 AM CST - Kurtis Stryker
No, Tim's point was to be a smart ass, and to find a reason to use that animated GIF. My point is that I'm already happy with the gameplay direction as hinted by the past couple of games, so I'm mainly concerned with having some decent fatalities. With the exception of the new system in Armageddon, most of the fatalities from the recent games have been pretty stupid. Though the best one is Quan Chi ripping off a leg and beating you with it.
April 27th, 2009 10:18 AM CST - Glamador
Well, tell the truth I'd like to see a LOT of things. Many of them are hard to put your finger on, fun gameplay that doesn't drive me to insanity would be nice. But fatalities are easy to point out quite tangibly. I want some great fatalities. The ratio of good/bad has been decreasing rapidly, and MKA's is worth negative points in my book. The original, unique, and gruesome fatalities went the way of silly, over-the-top, and childish right around MK3. Being stepped on by a giant boot? I mean come on. And while I completely realize the fatalities aren't the ONLY good thing MK has to offer me, I miss them. It was definitely ONE of the things that drew me to the franchise. And there is no other more satisfying way to end a match in a fighting game than with an MK fatality. No others compare to that feeling. And when the fatalities I get are unsatisfying and lacking in creativity, it really cheapens my victory.
April 28th, 2009 8:35 AM CST - Kurtis Stryker
I don't care what anyone says; any game that lets me dictate my character breaking an arm, then ripping both arms off, hitting my opponent with them, then ripping out a heart, brain and both ribs, AND then finishing the opponent off by ripping his/her head off is perfectly fine by me. I can't understand why some of you would consider that negative points. YOU CONTROL THE FATALITY!
April 28th, 2009 1:50 PM CST - Goraka
Yeah, but the fatality doesn't seem unique and personal to the character.
April 29th, 2009 11:08 AM CST - Glamador
The concept is never what I was attacking in the Kreate-a-Fatality system. In fact, if you look back at Pre-MKA posts I've made (though it's a long list) you'll find I was in favor of the system, provided there were unique and personal finishers for each character. Turns out there weren't, and it got old really fast.
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