Last year, analysts and industry news sites were toying with the question of whether the industry was recession proof. Now we know the answer — it isn't. On February 12, prompted by the departure of a major investor, [Midway] filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is a hammer blow to the very soul of the industry; Midway has been a part of videogame heritage from the very beginning. In May, a $33m takeover bid came in from Warner Bros, but that didn't include the San Diego or Newcastle studios. Under the provisions of the Chapter 11 code, these teams now have until the end of June to secure buyers or at least new investors. Otherwise it is, quite literally, game over.
Despite this pressing deadline, and with the threat of closure looming, the team at Midway Newcastle is hard at work on an as-yet unannounced project. Everyone knows the score, everyone knows they're facing unemployment. But out of 77 staff, only three have left since the situation with Midway went public. Studio Head Craig Duncan must keep his team motivated, while understanding that many will be surreptitiously registering with employment agencies or eyeing up the recruitment ads: "The heartbreaking thing for me is having people come to me and tell me they are talking to another company about a job because of the situation, but they don't want to leave the studio, and if the studio goes forward they will stay..."
Read more in the original Guardian article."
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