Midway Games Inc., known variously as Midway Manufacturing and Bally Midway, and commonly known as simply Midway, was an American video game developer and publisher. Midway's franchises included Mortal Kombat, Rampage, Spy Hunter, NBA Jam, Cruis'n, and NFL Blitz. Midway also acquired the rights to video games that were originally developed by Williams Electronics and Atari Games, such as Defender, Joust, Robotron 2084, Gauntlet, and the Rush series.
The company was founded as Midway Manufacturing in 1958, as an amusement game manufacturer. The company was then purchased by Bally Manufacturing in 1969, and used the Bally Midway name in the 1980s. In 1973, Midway moved into the interactive entertainment industry, developing and publishing arcade video games. The company scored its first mainstream hit with the U.S. distribution of Space Invaders in 1978. Bally then merged its pinball division into Midway in 1982. In 1988, Midway was purchased and re-incorporated by WMS Industries Inc. After years as a leader in the arcade segment, Midway moved into the growing home video game market beginning in 1996, the same year that it made its initial public offering of stock. In 1998, WMS spun off its remaining shares of Midway. Midway was ranked the fourth largest-selling video game publisher in 2000.
After 2000, Midway continued to develop and publish video games for home and handheld video game machines, but it experienced large annual net losses and engaged in a series of stock and debt offerings and other financings and borrowings. Sumner Redstone, the former head of the now merged Viacom and CBS Corporation, increased his stake in Midway from about 15% in 1998, to about 87% by the end of 2007. In December 2008, Redstone sold all his stock and $70 million of Midway debt to Mark Thomas, a private investor, for $100,000.
In February 2009, Midway Games filed in Delaware for bankruptcy. Warner Bros. purchased most of Midway's assets, and Midway settled with Mark Thomas to relinquish his Midway stock and debt. The U.S. District Court in Chicago dismissed a lawsuit alleging that former officers of Midway misled shareholders while selling their own stock. In 2010, the bankruptcy court dismissed claims against Redstone concerning his sale of the company to Thomas and approved Midway's plan of liquidation. Midway terminated the public registration of its securities in June 2010.