As if things with the recent demise of Midway Games (MWY, delisted) weren’t shady enough: There’s already suspicion of self-dealing in a fishy deal between former majority shareholder Sumner Redstone and new owner Mark Thomas, a man with no prior experience in the gaming industry.
Now kotaku finds out that Midway’s remaining employees, after explicitly being told that surplus personal time off would be paid out, are now being told to take a number along with the rest of Midway’s creditors.
Why screw employees? Well, Midway is scrounging up its pennies for an incentive package for 29 executives to make sure the company’s remaining assets — basically the Mortal Kombat IP — gets sold. Midway filed in bankruptcy court a plan to:
- Milestone: Entry into a publishing/distribution agreement for Midway’s new “Wheelman” game (apparently already accomplished), performance by Midway entitling it to gross proceeds of $6 million under the agreement by March 1, 2009, and actual receipt of those proceeds. Bonus Amount: $497,500.
- Milestone: Either (i) execution of an asset purchase agreement for the sale of Midway’s Mortal Kombat franchise assets or (ii) submission by Midway of a plan of reorganization to continue as a going concern. Bonus Amount: $1,292,500.
- Milestone: The earlier to occur of (i) confirmation of a plan of reorganization or liquidation or (ii) closing of a sale of Midway’s Mortal Kombat franchise assets. Bonus Amount: $1,965,000.
Wheelman has already been offloaded to French gaming company Ubisoft (UBI).
But Mortal Kombat is still in play, and given the recent success of the ‘DC Unvierse’ cross-over game, the franchise still has legs. So, who will buy it?