Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Midway LA to close

I saw this headline on Gamespot today which I knew was coming for a while but kind of shocked at the same time to know that is reality. I believe as soon as they are done with TNA! Impact they are moving to San Diego.

However before Midway LA ever existed there was Paradox - creators of Thrill Kill, Wu Tang, the Xmen fighting games, MK Shaolin Monks and the infamous Backyard Wrestling series. In all honesty the Paradox that I worked for has been gone since Midway came in and bought them out. In fact the office of the Paradox owner had been converted to a gym once Midway showed up. So it's a little weird for me to reminisce about this now but hey..thats the way life works sometimes. The picture above was taken when it was Paradox - I'm not even sure what the inside of Midway LA looks like.

Looking back at all the talent that came out of there is beyond crazy. This is where myself, Eric Williams, Cory Barlog, James Che, Bruno, Gilley, Tommy Ho, Todd Piperi, Adam Puhl all basically grew up and figured out how to make video games.

There was an amazing part of the warehouse we all sat in - with what may have been the greatest concentration of designers that I can think of. Mark Acero who is now working on Golden Axe, John Edwards who is basically like ...i forget his exact title but hella high up on the MK vs. DC team, Omar Kendall who is at THQ working on the next UFC game, Mike Bilodeau who is at Neversoft still I do belive, plus myself, Eric Williams and Adam Puhl. We all sat basically right on top of one another in the middle of a warehouse. This doesn't even count all the other great designers that came through there such as Ben Cureton (rainbow studios i believe), Ben Kutcher (turned programmer early in his career but worked on the nail a trick stuff at neversoft and is still there), Jason Cole, Paul Edwards, Fernandez, etc We had the equivalent of doors turned into desks but back then we didn't know any better and made due with what we had. We also had crazy external producers from Sony come and break our producer's leg. Ahh - good times.

It was a great place to work especially if you were into combat games since basically all Paradox made were fighting games. This is where we got to try out various ideas and see what worked and what didn't. We also got to work on such quickly cancelled games/demos as He-Man, a Fight Club demo, a Kung Faux demo...Im sure there were a ton more but nothing is coming to mind.

Once Mystic Monks got picked up by Midway and turned into Shaolin Monks, Paradox was quickly bought out. This was around the time I left so like I said - it hasn't been Paradox for a long time and while I never did work at Midway LA I will still miss it in some weird way. I wish everyone the best of luck when it comes to finding a new job or moving to San Diego.


Anonymous said...

The end of an era! (You forgot Kill Bill the Game!)

John Edwards

The Phantom Ripper said...

Jackie Chan, Dodgeball, Bare Knuckle, Fear Factor.. the list goes on and on.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, I forgot about Fear Factor! That game would have made us all rich!!! :P


omar kendall said...

I would do it all over again.

Anonymous said...

How about that night at like 3 am when we kicked the soccor ball over the cubicle wall and hit sleeping Omar in the back of the head! Classic.

Or Eric Williams doing a flying kick into a cardboard box while trying to get X- Men Next Dimension out the door. Good times!

John Edwards

Lee said...

Wow, you always seem to bring up subjects I've messed with. I helped my girlfriend, Dena, with a video review of Paradox's Thrill Kill. Definitely got a lot more views than expected, and a ton of people went out to find this game afterwards.

Kinda lengthy video, but it was originally broken up into three parts on her userpage.

Great blog as always

--Lee is Still Gaming

Michael Dudikoff said...

put your hand in this dirt, that's my style!

todds 200lbs+ said...

rocket launchers, rc boats, man pills, tacos on the roof, the sound booth, my old room in the doll closet, whiffle ball to adams eye, deleting 8 hours of work by kicking eric chair, bill mcdonald!

the list goes on and on