July 10th, 2009
11:28 AM CST -
We've received confirmation this morning that the name Midway Games is no more after today. The company will drop it's over fifty year old name, and continue operations under a Warner Bros. moniker effective Monday July 13th, 2009. It is likely they will be operating now under the Warner Brothers Games moniker. Development of Mortal Kombat 9 should be unchanged but will just continue under the new company name. I'd also expect to see re-releases of any of intellectual property purchased by Warner Brothers earlier this month without the Midway name attached to it.

Additional confirmation can be seen from a few of the Mortal Kombat developers on Twitter. Both Hector Sanchez and Hans Lo have put out their own tributes to the company name on their feeds today.

As someone who grew up with the Midway name being on most of my favorite games at the arcades, and later on the home video game consoles, this is quite an end to an era. I was always proud that Midway Games was centered in Chicago. Because of that, I got to see a lot of arcade games early because of the location testing at our local arcades. In my opinion, I think the name was perfect, and had such a vast storied history there is no reason to throw that away. Midway Games as a name will truly be missed, and will sadly have to go into the history books without being given a chance to make a better name for itself under it's tenure being owned by Warner Bros.

We'll post more as we know more. But remember, Mortal Kombat 9 development continues, just the name of the company on the box changes.

Update 1 7/13/2009: We reworded the article to be clear that this is not sourced on a few Twitter updates, but instead employees of the company confirming this change has happened effective midnight on July 10th, 2009.

Update 2 7/27/2009: It appears now that former Midway employees are updating their LinkedIn profiles to reflect the new name of Warner Bros Games Chicago as we previously hinted at.

Reader Komments from the TRMK Forums:



July 10th, 2009 4:22 PM CST - Tim Static
RIP its just been a sad sad month
July 10th, 2009 6:04 PM CST - RIPLIUKANG
I don't understand why they have to drop the name, they could keep operating with the name 'Midway' as long as Warner is placed before it somehow.
July 10th, 2009 10:20 PM CST - Umon Daisuke
No one knows for sure if they're dropping the name: http://kotaku.com/5312018/warner-bros-now-owns-midway-mortal-kombat WB also owns Monolith, and while I realize that they're a developer, not a publisher like Midway was, WB may choose to keep the name for brand recognition. Either way, I feel indifferent unlike some of you guys. Besides, if you're a fan, the games are still under development as Pat noted. The difference is, they have competent management now that won't screw things up.
July 11th, 2009 12:39 AM CST - DCR
I know the Midway name doesn't mean what it used to, but still, it's a bit sad and strange to see it go. There was a sort of comfort in seeing it whenever you fired up a console game, or an old arcade cab, especially when it was an MK game. Imagine starting up an MK2 machine and experiencing that awesome intro without the lead-in of "Midway Presents" and the ominous rumble underneath it setting the tone.
Maybe it's just the kid in me, but still...
July 11th, 2009 1:31 AM CST - Angel
The Credit Crunch is claiming more and more victums. Well we knew it was coming the moment Warner took over. Still, Midway will always be remembered as the ones who kick started a lot of young kids fantasy and taking games to their darkest via MK. R.I.P. Midway. If I could think of a song, I'd do a tribute on youtube for ya.
July 11th, 2009 3:24 AM CST - Umon Daisuke
Originally Posted by : Angel
The Credit Crunch is claiming more and more victums.
It's not the case here since Midway was in a terrible financial situation well before the economic collapse, and didn't post an operating profit since 1999. There were a number of shady practices by the higher ups too. Gamasutra had an interesting read back in April: http://gamasutra.com/news?story=23393
July 11th, 2009 4:54 AM CST - Kryptonite
Originally Posted by : Umon Daisuke
It's not the case here since Midway was in a terrible financial situation well before the economic collapse, and didn't post an operating profit since 1999. There were a number of shady practices by the higher ups too. Gamasutra had an interesting read back in April: http://gamasutra.com/news?story=23393
Great article. I agree 100%. Midway was never able to move their dominance in the arcades and take it to the home consoles. That Psi Ops game that the commentors are talking about I never even played and know nothing about. Cruising USA was an OK game in the arcades, but on the N64 it was one of the worst and collected dust along with my Pokemon Snap game. I remember the big arcade we have here in South Florida (and probably the only arcade left down here) had a huge digital sign that stated they had MK4 when it first came out to the arcades, and there were probably 10 of them and all were always packed with people playing. The same excitement never really hit the home MK versions from MKDA to MKvsDCU. I hope Warner Bros takes the MK franchise into a new direction. Since they're not hurting for money, I hope we don't have rushed MK games with lots of bugs in them and lack of characters and/or features. I think Midway only survived as long as it did because of MK's sales but the rushing with producing new MK games all the time really affected the quality of the games and I would imagine hurt Midway's profits greatly. I'm sort of glad Midway got bought out by Warner Bros, but I'm indifferent about the name being dropped. As long as Warner Bros keeps MK gory and M rated like it is, I have no problem with it. MKSM was the last MK game I purchased and the reason why I bought a PS2 back then. I'm hoping for another MK adventure game and hope the next MK fighter includes all the features Boon and Co want included in the game without rushing it just to meet a deadline.
July 11th, 2009 1:22 PM CST - Tim Static
I love those guys at Midway, but Midway + home consoles = suckage. The NBA Jams sucked. The Blitz franchised sucked, and the MK franchise sucked. Just 3 examples of huge arcade hits for Midway sucking on the consoles. I still wish WB's would have kept the name. I think its stupid to change it.
July 12th, 2009 4:04 AM CST - Mads
Don't care about the name, it's the game that matters. MK9, MK9, MK9!
July 12th, 2009 4:56 PM CST - ded_
midway never care or listen the fans, hopefuly WB will not act like them
July 12th, 2009 5:18 PM CST - DCR
I don't know about Midway as a whole, but the MK team seems to have listened to the fans quite a bit. Consider something like Shaolin Monks, which was almost pure fan service.
July 13th, 2009 8:49 AM CST - Patrick McCarron
Originally Posted by : Tim Static
I love those guys at Midway, but Midway + home consoles = suckage. The NBA Jams sucked. The Blitz franchised sucked, and the MK franchise sucked. Just 3 examples of huge arcade hits for Midway sucking on the consoles. I still wish WB's would have kept the name. I think its stupid to change it.
But Midway lost the NBA Jam name before they switched to consoles. The last NBA Jam game Midway made was for the arcades, NBA Jam TE.
July 13th, 2009 8:53 AM CST - Patrick McCarron
Originally Posted by : Umon Daisuke
No one knows for sure if they're dropping the name: http://kotaku.com/5312018/warner-bros-now-owns-midway-mortal-kombat WB also owns Monolith, and while I realize that they're a developer, not a publisher like Midway was, WB may choose to keep the name for brand recognition. Either way, I feel indifferent unlike some of you guys. Besides, if you're a fan, the games are still under development as Pat noted. The difference is, they have competent management now that won't screw things up.
Well Kotaku went to Midway PR, who told them the cookie cutter response. But I was told by many insiders at Midway Chicago that the Midway name is no more, I put the story up after that confirmation was given. The ownership took effect Friday at midnight, but the old logos remain on the building (I took some pictures on Saturday). Actually employees are calling it Warner Brothers Games already, but I'm sure we'll get some official news sometime today.
July 13th, 2009 9:59 AM CST - Tim Static
Originally Posted by : Patrick McCarron
But Midway lost the NBA Jam name before they switched to consoles. The last NBA Jam game Midway made was for the arcades, NBA Jam TE.
Ah, i ddnt reaize that. Good I guess because I dont remember much, but those console NBA Jam games were baddddd.
July 13th, 2009 12:22 PM CST - Patrick McCarron
Updated main post on 7/13/2009: We reworded the article to be clear that this is not sourced on a few Twitter updates, but instead employees of the company confirming this change has happened effective midnight on July 10th, 2009.
July 13th, 2009 4:31 PM CST - Glamador
Well I'm indifferent to the name change on the whole. But I will say this, Midway had a nice ring and a good logo presence on the box. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has a good logo presence as well, but it's a lot harder to say.
July 16th, 2009 4:15 PM CST - Patrick McCarron
Small update to the story. They have officially revealed via filings that they are laying off some of their business people, as the business will now be run by Warner Bros. http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-biz-midway-games-july16,0,7304684.story
July 17th, 2009 2:18 AM CST - Goraka
Originally Posted by : Glamador
Well I'm indifferent to the name change on the whole. But I will say this, Midway had a nice ring and a good logo presence on the box. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has a good logo presence as well, but it's a lot harder to say.
Packs a lot more punch though.
July 17th, 2009 9:55 PM CST - Umon Daisuke
Originally Posted by : Patrick McCarron
Updated main post on 7/13/2009: We reworded the article to be clear that this is not sourced on a few Twitter updates, but instead employees of the company confirming this change has happened effective midnight on July 10th, 2009.
It's sort of odd that a smaller developer and a less recognized name like Monolith got to keep their name despite the acquisition, while they chose to change Midway. Monolith wasn't a bargain like Midway of course, but it's still an odd move nonetheless. Anyway, WB's deep pockets will be beneficial to a franchise that still sells well to this day.
July 18th, 2009 12:42 PM CST - GrandMasterTRS
RIP Midway I think this logo belongs to a cover of a MK game but now a great era go's to a end.
July 23rd, 2009 5:53 PM CST - Kurtis Stryker
Who cares if "Midway" will no longer be attached to an MK game? The important thing is, Mortal Kombat will carry on. It's not like Ed Boon is no longer attached to it. I could see why it would be worth bleeding hearts over that, but not over the absence of the Midway name. C'mon now.
July 27th, 2009 4:26 PM CST - Patrick McCarron
Joystiq is now reporting what we already know, the Midway name is slowly disappearing. http://www.joystiq.com/2009/07/27/mortal-kombat-team-sheds-midway-skin-for-wb-games-chicago/
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