Confirmed: Harvey Smith No Longer with Midway Austin (Updated)

By Chris Remo, Nov 30, 2007 2:00pm PST

Update: Shacknews has received additional information from a source close to Midway. According to the source, Smith was still employed by Midway at the time he made his above statements. A Midway executive allegedly referred to Smith's talk as "his public resignation." [Edit: The executive in question was not in fact Midway's CTO, but a different executive. Shacknews regrets the error.] Midway employees were informed about the departure via email today.

Update 2: Midway media relations vice president Reilly Brennan has confirmed to Shacknews that Harvey Smith is no longer employed by the publisher.

Original story (Nov 30, 2007 2:21pm CST): Shacknews has separately learned from multiple reliable sources that Midway Austin designer Harvey Smith, who recently headed up the alien-themed shooter BlackSite: Area 51 (PC, PS3, X360), is no longer with Midway. One source explicitly alleges he was fired, but another suggests the departure was more mutual.

Smith recently made waves when he referred to the development of BlackSite as "so fucked up," citing problems within Midway and a general lack of proper management on the project. Over the course of the game's development and after its release, Smith trumpeted the game's political themes, characterizing it as "super fucking subversive." Smith has called for more developers to tackle complex issues in their games. It is likely that Smith's fiery speech came either after his departure or at a point when he already knew he would be taking leave. [Update: Smith was in fact employed by Midway when he made the cited statements. See above.]

Smith is also known for his work with Warren Spector at Ion Storm, where he was lead designer on the acclaimed Deus Ex and project director on its followup Deus Ex: Invisible War. Deus Ex 3 was just announced as in development by Eidos Montreal; neither Spector nor Smith are presumed to be involved.

Shacknews contacted Midway but has been unable to get a direct response so far. Inquiries have also been sent to the Midway Austin studio and to Smith.

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