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Midway Prepping Casual Portal, U.S. PC Market 'Softening'

In its call with investors following Q4 results, Midway CEO David Zucker revealed that it was preparing an online casual game portal for the near future, and said the company has de
In its call with investors following Q4 results, Midway CEO David Zucker said getting the PS3 version of its standardized internal engine up to par adversely impacted its financial results, and revealed that it was preparing an online casual game portal for the near future. Zucker said the publisher had a "challenging year" as it underwent its transition to next-gen consoles. While he said the million-selling action title Stranglehold was "affirmation" that Midway's "standardized tech tool set is on the right track," it hasn't come without a price. Tackling The PlayStation 3 The delay in shipping the PS3 version of Stranglehold "adversely impacted results," he said, but added, "we believe we've overcome the technical hurdles as a result of that process," and said future PS3 titles will ship day and date in the future. He also added that with the "core engine now in place" -- and being used by all the publisher's various internal studios -- its current product development team will be able to leverage progress made by the Blacksite, Stranglehold, and Wheelman teams "as far out as 2009 and 2010." A More Casual Future? Zucker also added that the company has seen success in "returning to our roots," with core competencies in fast-paced, addictive, short-play games, as its Touchmaster DS title saw good performance in the U.S. and overseas, as well as its Game Party Wii title. To that end, Zucker said that it would soon be revealing new, more casual console titles, and is preparing the "launch of a casual games online web based portal in the near future." Is The PC Softening? Zucker also took the opportunity to address its PC market, which he repeatedly noted was much stronger internationally than in the U.S. The company has made it a priority to target the UK, Germany and France directly over the past few years, and has seen overall sales grow from 18 to 35 percent in that time. Particularly with the PC, though, he says Europe consistently overperforms the U.S., as proven out by sales of games like Hour of Victory and Unreal Tournament 3. "We're definitely seeing softness in the PC market here in America, and we think that'll continue," he concluded, but said it's "still a very healthy market in the PAL territories."

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