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Midway Q2 Losses Down On  LOTR  MMO, Wii  Mortal Kombat

Midway Q2 Losses Down On LOTR MMO, Wii Mortal Kombat

August 2, 2007 | By Brandon Boyer

August 2, 2007 | By Brandon Boyer
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Midway Games has announced the results of its second quarter, showing sales up from $25.9 to $31.8 million from 2006, and losses down sharply from $31 to $14.3 million over the year prior on strong launches of The Lord of the Rings Online and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon for the Wii.

Looking forward to its third quarter, Midway has estimated that it will see sales of approximately $50 million on the release of John Woo collaborated action title Stranglehold for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, and Hour of Victory for PC, a European release of MYST for Nintendo DS, and North American PC game Big Buck Hunter.

Midway has said that for its full year ending December 31st, sales are expected to grow grow approximately 36% from 2006 to $225 million.

Recent highlights for the company include the launch of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, the Wii release of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, and Hour of Victory, Hot Brain and Touchmaster.

Company officials note that several of its games shown at E3 won accolades, including Stranglehold and Unreal Tournament 3, with the latter announced as a 2007 PlayStation 3 exclusive, featuring the ability to use PC user-created mods. Finally, the company pointed to its previously announced Nintendo exclusives, including Cruis'n and Game Party for Wii and Ultimate Mortal Kombat, The Bee Game, and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends for Nintendo DS.

President and CEO David F. Zucker concluded, “The response to our 2007 line-up at E3 was overwhelmingly positive, and we believe this sets the stage for our upcoming releases of Stranglehold, BlackSite: Area 51, and Unreal Tournament 3, as well as our other titles for the remainder of this year. We are at the culmination of the first part of our next generation strategy, and we are very excited to show the market the fruits of our labors starting with Stranglehold.”

[UPDATE: In the company's earnings call, Midway executives promised that 2008 would see the release of more "next-gen frontline titles" of the kind seen with Stranglehold.

The company currently appears to be struggling to maintain its schedule with games of just that type, as Midway announced that its Austin studio's Blacksite: Area 51 has been pushed to a November release, and said that upcoming Vin Diesel tie-in The Wheelman, which was noted as a Winter 2007 release as recently as E3, has been shifted to the first half of 2008.

Zucker also noted that the PlayStation 3 version of Stranglehold would be launching shortly after the Xbox 360 and PC versions, saying the "PS3 submission process is trailing by a couple of weeks." No details were given, but Zucker added that the game was "trailing on the tech side."

In response to a question, Zucker was reticent to go into more details on the deal struck with Sony to make Unreal Tournament 3 exclusive to the PlayStation 3 for the rest of the year, but did promise that the game was still shaping up for a November launch.

Finally, asked about the company's stance on downloadable titles, Zucker said that, across all services from XBLA to PSN to the new WiiWare channel, "Midway's got a very good stable of historical properties that we've already done very well with on XBLA, and started to do well with on Sony. At this point, if you look at our overall revenues, it's still a pretty low number," but added that because the titles had little development costs behind them, "the good thing is those are generally pretty profitable titles."]


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