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Midway:  UT3  Delayed To 2008, PS3 Woes Impact Sales

Midway: UT3 Delayed To 2008, PS3 Woes Impact Sales

October 3, 2007 | By Brandon Boyer

October 3, 2007 | By Brandon Boyer
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Publisher and developer Midway has announced that it is revising its Q3 estimates due primarily to delays of its headline PlayStation 3 titles, as PS3 timed exclusive Unreal Tournament 3 misses the holiday season and, along with the European PS3 release of BlackSite, slips into the first quarter of 2008.

For its third quarter, Midway has revised its sales estimates downward from $50 million to $39 million, and revised full year sales down sharply from $225 million to $170 million.

Most notably, Midway will miss the holiday release of its timed PlayStation 3 exclusive Unreal Tournament 3 as the game moves into the first quarter of 2008. As Midway's fiscal year corresponds to the calendar year, the move puts a tentative release somewhere between January and March.

The split shipment of the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of BlackSite: Area 51 - itself already previously delayed - will also impact sales, as the European PlayStation 3 version misses the holidays as well. Finally, the movement of the PlayStation 3 port of Stranglehold to Q4 (late October), compared to the early September release of its Xbox 360 version, is also blamed for the necessary revision.

Said president and CEO David Zucker, While we regret that these delays will cause us to lose some valuable holiday sales in the near term as well as shift revenue for some of these titles out of 2007 and into 2008, we remain confident that our technology strategy and product plan position us to grow both revenue and market share as we move into the heart of this console cycle."

Zucker says Midway's "core technology platform" is "now in place," and that 2008 will see a number of notable console releases including Unreal Tournament 3, NBA Ballers, Wheelman, and TNA iMPACT! and a number of as-yet unannounced titles including new next-gen Blitz and Mortal Kombat updates, and two "exciting new ambitious open world games."

[UPDATE: In its conference call with investors, Zucker admitted that the company has "encountered some bumps along the way" in creating its standardized engine technology that it hopes to use for its future titles, but said the the company "continues to believe it's the fastest path to market growth."

Part of those problems, said Zucker, relate to the fact that Midway is shipping two of the first PlayStation 3 titles running Unreal Engine 3 (Stranglehold, BlackSite), before Epic itself releases Unreal Tournament 3.

But, he continued, now that Midway has the "systems working," it marks the "beginning of the next-gen assault," and fully expects the "PS3 version of titles to ship day and date with other versions in 2008."

Finally, Zucker confirmed that the PC version of Unreal Tournament 3 is still expected to ship in early November. He also noted that the two "open world games" mentioned earlier were in development by its Austin studio and its Seattle studio, respectively.]


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