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Midway sale to Warner Bros. approved

July 2, 2009 |  1:09 pm

Mortal Kombat

Midway's latest hit, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Credit: Midway Games.

A Bankruptcy Court judge on Wednesday approved the sale of most of Midway Games' assets to Warner Bros. for $33 million in cash, removing the last big obstacle for the movie studio to acquire the rights to Mortal Kombat, Spy Hunter, Joust and a small library of classic game franchises. Warner will also gain two development studios in Seattle and Chicago.

The Chicago game publisher filed for bankruptcy protection this year after it was unable to satisfy creditors. Last year, majority owner and media mogul Sumner Redstone sold his 87% to Mark E. Thomas, a mysterious Massachusetts investor with no experience in video games, for a mere $100,000. As a result, the financially troubled Redstone was able to claim a $700-million tax loss in 2008.

It turned out to be a sweet deal for Thomas, who received $5 million from the sale to Warner Bros., according to the Chicago Tribune.

Warner Bros. was the only bidder to emerge last month in the sale of Midway's assets. Warner has not said what it plans to do with Midway. One can only surmise that there will be more games similar to Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, which sold more than 2 million units.

-- Alex Pham and Ben Fritz

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