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Midway Games Europe Sell-Off Complete, Tradewest Label Reborn

Former Midway EVP Martin Speiss completed a management buyout of Midway Games' French and UK locations, saving the offices from Midway's bankruptcy, and branding the organization under the classic Tradewest label, according to UK reports. [UPDATE:
After the bankruptcy and sell-off of Chicago-based Midway Games to Warner Bros., the fate of Midway Games Europe hung in the balance. But UK-based games business site MCV reports that the future of Midway's European arm is clearer, as former Midway Europe head Martin Speiss completed a management buyout of the division's UK and French offices. Speiss plans on resurrecting the newly-acquired offices under the dormant Tradewest label. In the 80s and 90s, Tradewest was best known for publishing games such as Battletoads and Double Dragon. In the mid-90s, former Midway owner WMS purchased Tradewest and renamed it Williams Entertainment, a division that spearheaded a move from arcades to home video game systems. The Tradewest brand has been dormant for several years, but Speiss believes that the label still holds some weight. "We are very glad to have acquired the rights to such an internationally well-known brand of such tradition in the gaming industry," he said. Speiss added, "Under the name Tradewest Games we will as of now be acting as a European full service provider in the fields of game distribution and publishing. We have access to a wide-reaching global network of game developers and international partners from all relevant areas of the games industry." Earlier this month, Midway regulatory filings said the company was in the process of selling off its French and German offices. Former management for Midway Games Germany is apparently still in the process of negotiating its own management buyout. Midway Games also confirmed this month that it sold off its San Diego studio to game publisher THQ for $200,000 plus liabilities and paid time off for retained staff. [UPDATE: Midway confirmed the sell-off of its French and UK offices to Spiess Media Holding UG. Meanwhile, Midway Games Germany's general manager Uwe Furstenberg and finance director Hans Meyer both completed the acquisition of Midway's German office. Midway said the UK, French, and German offices will "form a strategic alliance" within a European distribution network. Speiss said, "Most recently, the European arm had contributed almost 40 percent of Midway's worldwide revenues."

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