Midway Revises Sketchy "Key Employee" Bankruptcy Bonus Plan Following Flak

Illustration for article titled Midway Revises Sketchy "Key Employee" Bankruptcy Bonus Plan Following Flak

Mortal Kombat publisher Midway caught some heat from its creditors and a government-appointed trustee over some questionable bonuses attached to the sale of its properties and a publishing agreement with Wheelman co-publisher Ubisoft.


But Midway has since altered the deal, submitting a revised version to the courts to address concerns about the proposed $3.75 million in payouts going to 29 employees. One of the alterations to Midway's "Key Employee Incentive Program" was the exclusion of CEO Matt Booty from eligibility of those payouts, reducing the number of folks who could potentially benefit to 28.

According to Midway reps, this isn't just a windfall opportunity for the publisher's suits. "The majority of the people in here are the rank and file [product development] guys," the kind of people potential buyers or employers might want to keep.

Midway also removed the mention of Wheelman from the deal.

The Vin Diesel-starring game, which has been released as part of a deal between Ubisoft and Midway, was attached to a bonus incentive that creditors and the trusted found unsavory. That's because the deal had already happened quite some time ago, meaning folks would've have gotten paid under the arrangement for something that was a done deal.

Mention of Mortal Kombat has also been removed from the agreement, as it's logically the most attractive, possibly least tarnished of Midway's properties. The milestone previously attached to the sale of Mortal Kombat has been altered to include the company's assets—possibly all of them—to the tune of a committee approved "target cash amount."

That means someone may have to snap up rights to Narc, Smash TV and Area 51 for certain bonuses to be paid out. Not implying that Smash TV rights would be a bad thing, just likely unprofitable unless in the right hands.



The problem with the bonuses is that most of these bonuses, such as those paid to AIG, were written into the exec's contracts before the economic spiral of death even started. While it certainly isn't fair, and those who keep the bonuses are complete assholes, the componies are under contract to pay the bonuses. They can't do anything about it, and even if (In the case of AIG) the Government went to court over misuse of their money, the Supreme Court would uphold the bonuses, seeing as the sanctity of a contract has been proven time and time again ever since Fletcher vs Peck in 1810.

Of course, if these bonuses were aranged afterwards, then yeah, they're douchs. And besideds, Midway has been in an economic death spiral for years now. Why is it paying million dollar bonuses to execs when the money could be better spent in appeals? No sense.