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Midway Games (Ohga Shrugs)

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Midway
Former type Publisher, Developer
Founded 1988
Headquarters Chicago, United States
Employment 510 (2010)

Midway Games, also known simply as Midway, was a video game developer and publisher. It filed bankruptcy in 2010, and its assets have been liquidated. Midway was best known for their Mortal Kombat series of fighting games, but their assets also included the Cruis'n series, NFL Blitz, and NBA Jam.

History

Midway was founded as "Midway Manufacturing" in 1958, and was an amusement machine manufacturer. In 1973, the company switched to the video games business. Its first major victory was winning the rights to distribute Space Invaders in America. After a buyer purchased the company in 1988, it was reincorporated as Midway Games.

After Ohga Shrugs

By the early 90's, Midway Games had become one of America's premier gaming companies. Games like NBA Jam and the original Mortal Kombat trilogy became major hits, especially in the arcades. Interestingly enough, the home console ports of Mortal Kombat led to the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, or ESRB.

Mortal Kombat 4

The Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat 4.

Midway continued into the 5th generation going strong. Mortal Kombat 4 was a lesser hit than its predecessors, but still a hit, while various sports titles and the Cruis'n series also sold well. Meanwhile, Midway began expanding, purchasing smaller studios in America to help make arcade games and port them to the consoles. By the end of the generation, Midway was only behind only Electronic Arts as the number one non-Japanese publisher and developer on the market in terms of revenue.

However, Midway began losing money year after year. This was due to a number of factors, including the decline of the arcade industry, especially after 2004, the lack of success with new Mortal Kombat entries, competition from Sega's and Electronic Arts's sports games, and incompetence at the top of the company.

Midway's decline became a plummet at the start of the seventh console generation, as the costs of developing and porting games rose and the revenue of their franchises dropped further. By 2010, the company was forced to file for bankruptcy. Rights to their various franchises were scattered. with THQ acquiring the rights to Mortal Kombat, Electronic Arts acquiring rights to NBA Jam and NFL Blitz, and Nintendo acquired full rights to Cruis'n.

Most of Midway's studios were closed. Midway Chicago, the original studio, was the main exception. It is currently owned by THQ, renamed "THQ Chicago," and has been tasked with the Mortal Kombat series.

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