Midway has snatched up the publishing rights to the Unreal franchise, executives announced today in tandem with Q2 2004 financial results. Developer Epic Games formerly held an Unreal publishing contract with Atari.
Its first Unreal title, Unreal Championship 2 for Xbox, will be out next year, with two more titles in the Unreal Tournament vein to follow. Midway officials are optimistic that the publishing rights will aid a company-wide turn around; Midway hasn’t posted a profit since 1999, but now expects to hit one by Q4 2004.
"Securing the rights to publish the next three Unreal titles is an important accomplishment for Midway, particularly in light of the competition we faced to secure this franchise,” said president and chief executive officer David F. Zucker. “We plan to announce several exciting details in the near future regarding our plans for this franchise, including innovative marketing and promotional campaigns.”
In its quarterly report, Midway officials said revenues for the quarter were up at $47.3 million, compared to $5 million for the same time period in 2003. A net loss of $9 million was recorded for Q2, a marked improvement over last year’s $54.8 million Q2 net loss.
During the report briefing, executives said the company had six front-line titles in 2004 and forecasted the number would increase 50 percent in 2005, although they refused to comment about specifics in terms of increased R&D spending and company headcount.