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Weak Q2 for Midway as Unreal Championship 2 disappoints

Publisher Midway Games has missed its already low guidance for the June quarter, posting a loss of $29.9 million on revenues which slid over $10 million from last year's figure to just $36.9 million.

Publisher Midway Games has missed its already low guidance for the June quarter, posting a loss of $29.9 million on revenues which slid over $10 million from last year's figure to just $36.9 million.

While much of the loss is attributed to the poor performance of Unreal Championship 2 - the company's only other big release in the quarter, Area 51, performed rather better - the knock-on effect on the firm's full-year targets is also significant.

Midway has lowered its projections for the coming quarter to a loss of $19 million on revenues of $30 million, while for the full year ended December 31st, it expects revenues of $200 million and a net loss of $60 million - down from earlier projections of $225 million revenue and $47 million loss.

However, some analysts remain optimistic about the company, which has been undergoing some fairly significant growth and refocusing since Viacom boss Sumner Redstone acquired a majority stakeholding in it last year.

"We believe that as Midway continues to focus on game quality, its outlook will continue to improve," commented Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter. "We believe that the company is building the infrastructure necessary to support significantly higher revenues, and expect this investment to pay dividends in 2007, if not earlier."

However, for now Pachter is maintaining his Hold rating on the stock. "The company's turnaround is under way," he said, "but we believe that Midway may still be 12 - 18 months away from consistent profitability."

Midway also this morning announced that it has acquired Ratbag Games, the Australian studio responsible for titles including Powerslide and The Dukes Of Hazzard, which will now be renamed as Midway Studios Australia and is already working on a number of unannounced titles for the publisher.

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Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.