At its financial call, Midway revealed plans for two “ambitious open world games” and to debut Mortal Kombat and Blitz on “next generation” hardware.
“Looking ahead to 2008, with our core technology platform now in place, we expect to release a number of titles,” said company CEO David Zucker. “We also expect to release several as-yet unannounced titles such as next generation versions of our hit franchises Blitz and Mortal Kombat, and two exciting new ambitious open world games. We intend to give more details on our 2008 release schedule in the near future.”
Additionally, the company announced that the PS3 version of BlackSite: Area 51 has been delayed. No reason was given, however, it’s a slight delay as the PS3 version will ship approximately three weeks after the PC and Xbox 360 versions hit stores on November 5.
Interestingly, at the conference, Zucker said that the company expects to sell 1.5 million copies of John Woo’s Stranglehold, which hit PC and Xbox 360 recently, with a PS3 version on the way. The game was powered by Unreal Engine 3, which Midway developed toolsets around that has given its internal studios a “solid foundation” going forward, said Zucker.
A dedicated game site for BlackSite: Area 51 has gone live, offering up game details, screenshots and other media from the upcoming alien-shooter. It is set for release this October on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360; demos for PC and Xbox 360 will be announced soon.
While announcing that the Xbox 360 version of Stranglehold has gone gold, Midway also let out word that the PC and PS3 versions have been delayed. The PC version is now slated for release on September 18, with the PS3 version releasing on September 25.
The Xbox 360 is scheduled to hit first on September 5.
At its earnings conference call, Midway CEO David Zucker revealed delays for two of its upcoming titles. First up is BlackSite: Area 51, the forthcoming sequel for the alien-shooter. Previously set for release this September, the game will now be released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 October 26 in Europe and November 5 in North America.
The Wheelman is the other game to receive a delay. Based on a movie of the same name featuring Vin Diesel, the game has now been pushed back to Q1 or Q2 2008. “We’ll be shifting our release of The Wheelman starring Vin Diesel for the first half of 2008 to give our development team more time to turn this ultimate car chase game into what we expect will be a broad impact top notch title,” Zucker said. The game was initially pegged for release later this year.
Matrix Games and SSG have announced Carriers at War, a recreation of the classic wargame. The game is a simulation of fleet carrier air and naval operations in the Pacific theater from 1941 to 1945, and will let players engage in the greatest naval wars of WW2, including Pearl Harbor, Midway and more; multiplayer games over Internet and LAN; historically accurate ship and aircraft profiles; and more.
It is set for release later this year.
Confirmation comes from EA that Need for Speed: Carbon and Madden NFL 07 will be launching alongside the Wii on November 19. However, former launch title Blitz: The League by Midway has lost its status. No new release date was given, but it is known that the game will not be a launch title for the Nintendo console next month.
From Turbine, Midway and Codemasters comes word that The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar has officially entered beta in North America, with the pre-beta launching in Europe. Interested participants can enter the beta program by clicking here; the beta is by invitation only and over time more and more players will join the fray. According to Turbine CEO, Jeffrey Anderson, the beta already has nearly 200,000 players registered and will be one of the “largest beta communities” in the industry.
Midway is showing off these games at Hall 2, stand E50 at the Leipzig Games Convention:
- Stranglehold (PLAYSTATION®3, Xbox 360™, PC; Winter 2007) – Experience exhilarating, next-gen action for the PS3, Xbox 360™ videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC, as you continue the story of Inspector Tequila from John Woo’s influential action film, “Hard Boiled” starring Chow Yun-Fat. Run into danger with both fists full of lead and take down the organized crime bosses who stepped over the line when they took your family. Stop at nothing as you destroy the entire world around you to get them back. You are a desperate man following your own rules; honor thy family; do what’s right; fear no man.
- Unreal Tournament® 2007 (PC, PS3) – The latest entry into the Unreal® franchise, Unreal Tournament® 2007, is currently in development by Epic Games Inc. Fans will be blown away by the next-generation game play, modifiability and visuals that Epic’s Unreal® Engine 3 technology will bring to the franchise.
- Mortal Kombat®: Armageddon (PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system; October 2006) – Introducing Mortal Kombat: Armageddon – the latest chapter in Midway’s best-selling, award-winning, videogame fighting franchise. With the most complete Mortal Kombat roster ever, including every character from the Mortal Kombat fighting universe, revolutionary Create-A-Fighter and Create-A-Fatality modes, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon promises to be one of the most complete, intensely lethal, fighting experience ever!
- Spy Hunter®: Nowhere to Run (PlayStation 2; September 2006) – Spy Hunter®: Nowhere to Run™ takes the Spy Hunter franchise where it’s never gone before – on foot. Featuring action superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as government super-spy extraordinaire Alex Decker, players for the first time ever can step out of the Interceptor and straight into third-person action, utilizing The Rock’s physical prowess by taking down enemies with intense melee combat moves.
- Happy Feet (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo Wii, Game Boy® Advance, Nintendo DS™, PC; November 2006) – Based on Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming comedy adventure Happy Feet™, Midway’s immersive video game puts the player in the “tap shoes” of Mumble, a young penguin born into a nation of singing Emperor Penguins where each needs a Heartsong to attract a soul mate. Unfortunately, Mumble is the worst singer in the world…however, as it happens, he is a brilliant tap dancer! Based on the general storyline of the film, the player will be able to experience life from the point of view of Mumble in music, dance and interaction with the friends and enemies of the penguin’s world.
- The Ant Bully (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, PC; Fall 2006 – Nintendo Wii; November 2006) – Go pick on someone your own size! After bullying an innocent ant colony, a young boy named Lucas is magically shrunk down to ant size and embarks on a remarkable adventure. Play as Lucas, experiencing the dangerous and thrilling life of an ant as you battle, explore and forge new friendships with natives and other species in his new ant world. Based on exciting moments from Warner Bros. Pictures upcoming digitally animated family adventure The Ant Bully, and featuring all-new challenges created especially for the game, help Lucas evolve from recluse to hero in his quest to save the colony from extermination
- LA RUSH (PSP system; Fall 2006) – For the first time ever on the PSP system, attempt mad jumps, high-flying stunts and arcade-style racing from the original LA RUSH franchise. Go head to head with a friend in a street race or cruise mission using wireless functionality, or experience Story Mode which allows you to race through 5 Los Angeles city re-creations while finding treacherous shortcuts and surviving death-defying jumps!
- Mortal Kombat®: Unchained (PSP system; Fall 2006) – Mortal Kombat®: Unchained™ takes the Mortal Kombat franchise to new heights with an innovative fighting system tailored for wireless functionality, unparalleled depth and brutally intense action that will appeal to long-time Mortal Kombat fans, as well as new gamers.
A Surreal Software job listing for a Senior Associate Producer confirms that the Midway studio is working on a completely new IP, refuting rumors that they just might be working on next-gen follow-ups to Drakan or The Suffering.
The listing states that it is a “new, exciting IP, on a new technology base, with a concept which will blow you away.” The person who will be hired will get the chance to be the “keystone of a large and experienced development team.”
As expected, neither Midway nor Surreal had anything to say about the project.