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Midway, MTV Announce Strategic Partnership

Midway, MTV Announce Strategic Partnership

June 27, 2005 | By David Jenkins

June 27, 2005 | By David Jenkins
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Representatives from television network MTV have announced a strategic relationship with video games publisher Midway Games, revealing a wide-ranging collaboration a number of forthcoming video games.

Together, the two companies will co-market three upcoming games, with MTV also buying in-game advertising and collaborating on soundtracks. As part of the deal, MTV will also participate in a royalty sharing scheme for the three titles.

The first title will be previously-annouced racing game L.A. Rush, an update for the arcade-originating San Francisco Rush franchise, which will feature MTV branding throughout the game world, and a soundtrack containing over 75 songs. This soundtrack bundle will include music from West Coast Customs, as featured in hit MTV show Pimp My Ride. The other two games included in the MTV/Midway deal have not yet been revealed.

"Gaming is an essential part of the every day lives of our audience and MTV is where game publishers turn to launch their biggest titles," stated Jeff Yapp, executive vice president of MTV Networks Music and LOGO Enterprise Group. "This unique alliance with Midway allows us to move beyond a traditional advertising relationship and become true partners in the success of these titles. We will integrate our expertise in music, television, and online media to help one of the video game industry's top publishers deliver exciting, new, culturally resonant games."

Sumner M. Redstone, who owns a majority of the voting shares of both MTV and Midway, said: "I am delighted that Midway is the first to enter into this exciting new business model, which harnesses the power of MTV's brands, intellectual property and promotional engine to Midway's top-rated games development and publishing abilities. And I am also delighted to report that the independent special committee of Viacom's board which oversees relationships between Viacom and Midway recommended board approval, and that this recommendation was accepted by the full Viacom board."

Interestingly, Redstone is the majority shareholder of Midway, as a private investor, where he installed his daughter Shari as vice-chairman last year. It has long been speculated that Redstone would subsequently attempt to sell Midway to Viacom, where he is CEO. However, the new deal with MTV, itself a division of Viacom, is the first time that the two companies have dealt with each other since Redstone acquired a majority stake in Midway.


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