Lights out for Midway Newcastle

Lights out for Midway Newcastle
Michael French

By Michael French

July 14th 2009 at 1:50PM

UK studio shut down and put into insolvency by American owners this morning

Its management team tried to fight it off, but the collapse of Midway has finally caught up with its Newcastle studio - and today it was put into administration.

Develop understands that Midway CEO himself Matt Booty broke the news to the team this morning, and that HR and an insolvency team were on hand to close the studio as soon as possible.

Emotions are apparently running high at the studio in the Northern city, and understandably so.

Studio head Craig Duncan revealed to Develop just weeks ago that he was working around the clock to find a buyer for the studio, after it became clear that it was not wanted by Midway acquirer Warner Bros.

“My focus is 100 per cent on finding a buyer. Every studio head will say it, but this is team that’s just too good to be wasted," he said at the time.

Warner's buy of the publisher was completed just days ago, and gave it ownership of IP including Mortal Kombat and select studios - but not the San Diego or Newcastle teams.

The latter had specifically taken to guerilla marketing duties for their new game, the interesting new action IP Necessary Force (pictured), in a bid to drum up interest ahead of the closure deadline set by its parent firm.

Midway Newcastle's The Wheelman was released earlier this year to decent sales.

Fingers crossed that the 70-odd staff members now left without a job aren't facing unemployment for too long - the North East games development sector in the UK is full of busy studios, and hopefully they will find new homes soon. Develop understands that team in Newcastle is welcoming other studios to arrange open days for those looking to find new recruits.

The fate of Midway's San Diego team is not yet officially known.