Midway Games: Losses Cause David Zucker Departure

March 20, 2008–Midway Games, the struggling vidgame publisher on Thursday let go of CEO David Zucker, who has led the company since 2003, a year before Redstone become majority owner.

Redstone was hoping to move Midway up from being a second tier publisher to the top of the industry. But Midway has instead cumulated losses estimated at $300 million in that time and hasn't seen any growth in stature. Total revenue was about the same in 2007 as it was in 2004, though loss grew significantly.

Midway stock has fallen 79% since Redstone took over, costing the CBS and Viacom chairman, who owned 87% of its stock, over $500 million in equity value. Late last year, Redstone replaced chair Kenneth Cron with his daughter Shari, who didn't hide her displeasure with the company's perf in a statement.

Midway has been plagued by delays and high profile new titles that didn't take off, such as “John Woo Presents Stranglehold.” The publisher recently received a $90 million line of credit from Redstone-owned National Amusements.

Titles for this year include actioner “Wheelman” starring Vin Diesel, world game “This is Vegas” and new basketball and wrestling games.

Midway shares fell 7% on the news Thursday, closing at $2.01. Given its low stock price and the several well known franchises it owns, most notably “Mortal Kombat,” Midway could become an acquisition target as the industry undergoes consolidation.

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