Midway Games was an American video game developer and publisher. Their titles included Mortal Kombat, Ms. Pac-Man, Spy Hunter, Tron, Rampage, the Cruis'n series, NFL Blitz, and NBA Jam. Midway also acquired the rights to video games that were originally developed by Williams Electronics and Atari Games, such as Defender, Joust, Robotron 2084, Gauntlet, and the Rush series. Midway was the main publisher of Taito's games in North America, being responsible for publishing the Space Invaders games there.
The company's predecessor Midway Manufacturing was founded in 1958, as an amusement game manufacturer. In 1973 it moved into the interactive entertainment industry, developing and publishing arcade video games. The company scored its first mainstream hit with the U.S. distribution of Space Invaders in 1978. Midway was purchased and re-incorporated in 1988 by WMS Industries Inc. After years as a leader in the arcade segment, Midway moved into the growing home video game market beginning in 1996, the same year that it made its initial public offering of stock. In 1998 WMS spun off its remaining shares of Midway. Midway was ranked the fourth largest-selling video game publisher in 2000.
After 2000, Midway continued to develop and publish video games for home and handheld video game machines, but it experienced large annual net losses and engaged in a series of stock and debt offerings and other financings and borrowings. Sumner Redstone, the head of Viacom/CBS Corporation, increased his stake in Midway from about 15%, in 1998, to about 87% by the end of 2007. In December 2008, Redstone sold all his stock and $70 million of Midway debt to Mark Thomas, a private investor, for $100,000.
In February 2009, Midway Games filed in Delaware for bankruptcy. Warner Bros. purchased most of Midway's assets (including Mortal Kombat), and Midway settled with Mark Thomas to relinquish his Midway stock and debt. The U.S. District Court in Chicago dismissed a lawsuit alleging that former officers of Midway misled shareholders while selling their own stock. In 2010, the bankruptcy court dismissed claims against Redstone concerning his sale of the company to Thomas and approved Midway's plan of liquidation. Midway terminated the public registration of its securities in June 2010. In March 2011, the court dismissed a lawsuit challenging the sale of assets to Warner. As of 2016, a liquidating trust continues to collect and distribute any proceeds and other assets to Midway's remaining creditors and pursues avoidance actions on behalf of creditors.
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