Midway: "Fewer, Bigger, Better" Games in 2008

Midway CEO David Zucker has a plan, one that he hopes will guide the video game publisher and developer to its first annual profit since 1999. The key lies with producing "fewer, bigger, better" games, he told the Chicago Tribune.

Other initiatives include an emphasis on license-driven titles based on movies and more active involvement from newly-elected Midway chairwoman Shari Redstone, daughter of majority shareholder and Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone.

The latter half of 2007 was filled with strife for Midway. In August, it announced that it lost $14.3 million in Q2. Several of its titles--including the PlayStation 3 editions of Stranglehold, Unreal Tournament 3, and BlackSite: Area 51--were delayed due to technical difficulties. Its major PC release, the Epic-developed Unreal Tournament 3, sold less than 35,000 copies in its first two weeks of availability at retail.

Furthermore, just before BlackSite: Area 51 arrived on PlayStation 3, creative director Harvey Smith publicly admitted that the game's development was "so fucked up." Days later, Smith was no longer with the company.

All of those technical problems should be in the past, David Zucker told investors earlier this year.

Thus far, Midway's releases for 2008 include The Wheelman, a prequel to the upcoming film of the same name starring Vin Disel, two unannounced open-world games, NBA Ballers: Chosen One, and new entries in the Mortal Kombat and Blitz franchises.

The company also holds the rights to produce a sequel to Midway Chicago and Tiger Hill Entertainment's Stranglehold (PC, PS3, X360)--itself a prequel to the John Woo-directed film Hard Boiled--though the company has yet to make any formal plans.

However, Zucker did note that Stranglehold has sold over 1 million copies, close to Midway's expectations of selling more than 1.5 million units.