Midway's Problems Not Unreal Engine's Fault

Following news this week that Midway's decision to use the Unreal Engine was implicated in the publisher's rapid decline, Ben Fritz of Variety clarified his original story, stressing that the Unreal Engine itself is not at fault.

"To be direct: my sources are not saying Unreal Engine, and Epic Games, are the cause of its problems," Fritz wrote. "Rather it's the decision by Midway to use UE3 for all its games, and subsequent problems adapting the code, which caused game delays and then cash flow problems," he added.

The publisher had decided to license the engine for its whole portfolio as a cost-cutting measure. The intent was to allow Midway studios to share resources more efficiently, but instead individual projects demanded adapting the engine to their needs.

The tweaks not only negated the supposed benefits of the license, but their complexity caused a host of delays for the publisher, which in turn caused financial losses.

Midway, sensing its hand was forced, then pushed out games in a desperate grab for revenue, but the games' critical and retail failures only worsened the publisher's financial problems.