Midway aims for a Stranglehold on next-gen market

After its best quarterly performance for seven years – and with an impressive line-up of titles for 2007 – Midway is in an enviable position to be a leading publisher during the new generation cycle.

Those were the bold claims from the US publisher’s CEO David Zucker, who this morning addressed a group of some 120 retailers and distributors from across PAL territories during Midway’s European Retail Conference in Tenerife.

“Q4 2006 was a major turning point for Midway,” he told the group. “It represented the largest quarter for us since 1999, with us recording revenues of $97 million, thanks to titles like Happy Feet and Mortal Kombat.”

Ahead of presentations of the publisher’s key 2007 titles – including the likes of Mortal Kombat Wii, Hour of Victory, Black Site Area 51, Stranglehold, Unreal Tournament III and Wheelman – Zucker also underlined the increasing importance of PAL territories.

“We have, in the past, had too much US-centric product, but that has now changed, with titles like Hour of Victory, Stranglehold and The Wheelman – which is set in Europe – demonstrating that we now have a truly global product strategy.”

European MD Martin Spiess was equally bullish, highlighting the successes that Midway has enjoyed since its last European conference in Rome last March.

“Last year we promised you that 2006 would be a big year,” he said. “It turned out to be even bigger than we could have expected. It was an epic year.”

Rise & Fall was Midway’s biggest PC game to date, he pointed out, with the game shipping 250,000 units in PAL territories last June and taking the number one position in the PC charts in both the UK and Germany.

He also revealed that, after shipping one million units of Happy Feet during Q4 and enjoying strong sales success during the Christmas period, the children’s title is now set for a Platinum release this Easter to coincide with the DVD’s roll-out.


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