Midway Axes 80 to 90 in Austin?

Eighty to 90 people were laid off this morning at Midway's Austin office, according to insiders who contacted Kotaku today.

Midway has not yet responded to request for confirmation and comment.

The rumored deep cuts are said to leave mysterious open-word crime game, code-named "Criminal", dead in the water and torpedoes the company's core-tech.

Another tipster tells us that a majority of those laid off were from the recently canceled Criminal team. So many people were laid off at the studio, the tipster says, that those who weren't received a phone call Sunday night telling them to stay home. Everyone else who showed up were "processed and laid off."

The rumor comes less than a week after Midway confirmed to Kotaku that a trio of high-level folks had left Midway's Chicago studio. Among those to leave were Mike Bilder, head of the studio, the internal developer responsible for Stranglehold, Mortal Kombat and Blitz: The League. Other confirmed departures include Mona Hamilton, vice president of marketing, and Reilly Brennan, director of media relations. Two other senior staffers were also said to have left the company, but we were unable to verify that they were indeed gone.

The news and rumor both come shortly after an earnings report that shows Midway lost some $34.8 million for the quarter.

We have contacted Midway for comment on Austin and on the company's health as a whole. Stay tuned for updates.

Update: Midway has confirmed layoffs.