NEWS - Thursday, December 16, 2004

Midway hits back with Blitz: Playmakers

Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY), a leading interactive entertainment software publisher and developer, announced today the development of Blitz:Playmakers, a new, unlicensed videogame exposing the harsh realism and troubling, behind-the-scenes stories of a fictional professional football league. Blitz:Playmakers has been in development at Midway’s Chicago studio for the past year in collaboration with a writer from ESPN’s controversial “Playmakers” TV series. Blitz: Playmakers goes behind the glitz and glamour of the game through a revolutionary campaign mode that explores the on-field violence, off-field fallout and front-office politics of professional football. Blitz: Playmakers is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2005 on multiple videogame console platforms. “Midway’s Chicago studio has laid the foundation over the past year for what is the ultimate alternative to watered down NFL sanctioned football games,” said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer of Midway. “No longer bound to the NFL license, there will be no league restrictions on content and gamers will finally experience what makes playing a football videogame really fun: off-field controversies, dirty hits, excessive celebrations and much more. Blitz: Playmakers buyers will be assured of one thing – our game will include all the gameplay and fun the NFL won’t allow.” About Blitz: Playmakers Blitz: Playmakers will feature a powerful story mode that, for the first time ever in a football videogame, explores the realism, lifestyle and drama found in professional football. Players will take the helm of a downtrodden football franchise and retool the players and coaching staff in a quest to guide them to the league championship. Additional features include intense multiplayer action with head-to head online play and complete customization of players, teams, stadiums and more. About Midway Games Inc. Midway Games Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment software. Midway videogames are available for play on all major videogame platforms including the PlayStation ®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox ® , Nintendo GameCube ™ and Game Boy ® Advance. Midway has hired the writer of the ESPN show "Playmakers" to develop the new game. The game will include drug use, off-the-field attitudes and more that happens in professional sports, but isn’t talked about. Hot on the heels of this week’s announcement that EA has signed a five-year exclusivity deal with the NFL, Midway, publisher of the NFL Blitz series, have stepped forward with their plans of how to continue making American Football games without the NFL license. Midway have had more time to prepare for life without the NFL than most, after being told earlier this year that their use of the NFL license would not be renewed due to what the NFL perceived as excessive violence in the Blitz series. The excessive violence doesn’t seem to be a problem for Midway and in Blitz: Playmakers it looks likely that they’ll build upon the controversial aspects of both the TV show and the previous Blitz games. One Midway spokesperson has already stated that Playmakers promises to be the game the NFL wouldn’t let anyone make. It sounds an interesting concept but will it be enough to keep NFL fans happy? We’ll have to wait and see.


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