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Midway Confirms Newcastle Studio Shutdown,  Necessary Force  IP Ownership
Midway Confirms Newcastle Studio Shutdown, Necessary Force IP Ownership
July 14, 2009 | By Chris Remo, Staff

July 14, 2009 | By Chris Remo, Staff
More: Console/PC

Talking to Speaking, Midway representatives have confirmed that the firm has closed Midway's Newcastle, UK development studio after being unsuccessful in finding a buyer, with its Necessary Force IP potentially for sale.

The studio was not part of Warner Bros' $33 million acquisition of Midway assets, which transferred the majority of the bankrupt publisher and developer's intellectual property to the major media company.

Geoff Mogilner, Midway's head of corporate communications, said to Gamasutra, "We can confirm that we closed the Newcastle studio unfortunately. We had a period of time that was required by UK law to notify the employees of the pending studio closure."

"During that time, we made every effort to find a buyer for the studio, and we were unfortunately unsuccessful at that," he explained. "Today was when we had to close the studio."

It is believed about 80 Midway Newcastle employees are affected.

When asked about the IP under development by the studio, which was formerly known as Pitbull Syndicate and acquired by Midway in October 2005, Mogilner noted that while the Vin Diesel vehicle The Wheelman is now owned by Warner Bros, another in-development project is possibly still up for grabs.

Midway Newcastle "had another IP they were working on, Necessary Force, and that is owned by Midway," said Mogilner. "It is for sale potentially, but we have not decided what we're going to do with that intellectual property."

Finally, when Gamasutra asked for an update on Midway's San Diego studio, which was also not part of the Warner Bros. acquisition, Mogilner confirmed that it was still looking for a buyer. The studio has been given 60 days to find new owners following the commencement of the Warner Bros. acquisition before it is shut down.

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Paul Lazenby
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This is sad to read but, to be honest, there are a number of publishers out there looking for interesting IPs.

Either NF didn't present itself well or the terms they (Midway) wanted were unreasonable.

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Never heard about necessary force, any company would be better off just creating their own IP from scratch than buying whatever that is.

David Rodriguez
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Much of luck to the SD studio gettin a buyer.

Mac Senour
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I think it all comes down to terms. The people have the skills they just need a project and a leader who will fight for them.

Of course I talk all about this kind of thing in my blog...


Peter Urbanics
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Necessary Force looks really cool:

I hope they will continue to develop it.

It could be a great game if it turns out as I imagine it. (there is yet only very limited info about the planned gameplay)

Robert Troughton
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The studio wasn't just "closed"... it was liquidated. They essentially liquidated some parts of Midway in order to avoid having to pay redundancies (or even for work done - the staff worked for 2 weeks unpaid after being told by head office that payroll WOULD be made for July... which it now won't be)... the staff lost their redundancy notice, redundancy pay and their holiday pay, as well as those two weeks... they (we) were well and truly stiffed to be honest.

The Redstones, Thomas and Midway's creditors are unavailable for comment, no doubt...

Robert Troughton
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As for Necessary Force... the technology behind that game was all developed in-house at Midway Newcastle as extensions to Unreal Engine... deferred rendering isn't something that other Midway studios had and it's not something that ships with Unreal itself. Without the team that developed the Necessary Force prototype, the IP isn't worth anything, unfortunately.

Peter Urbanics
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"The first-ever in-game footage from Midway Newcastle's canceled new ip."

Why do they release this after it has been canceled?