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Stranglehold ad pulled, Midway in minor staff layoff

16 January 2008

Midway, the publishers behind the PlayStation 3 smash hit Unreal Tournament III, has found itself at the height of media attention this week, though by no means in the most favourable of ways.

To get the ball bouncing, an advertisement campaign for the 2007 release John Woo’s Stranglehold has been ripped from television airways due to the content contained within. Apparently the commercial, which is said to have featured excessive violence and inappropriate language, was aired early in the evening instead of late at night. The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) has commented by saying that the game promotes violence and gun use.

“We considered the ad was likely to be seen as encouraging and condoning violence. The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form."

Despite this, Midway insist that they have done everything to insure that the ad was appropriate for TV.  However, PSU feels it is a little odd as to why the company would even be running advertisements for the game that is already around 4 months old in the first place? Surely the focus should be on marketing Unreal Tournament III?

Elsewhere, Midway is reporting that they are currently pursuing minor layoffs within the firm, with a company representative stating:

"There was a minor layoff in our Austin studio following the completion of a project there. We are still growing our other teams and studios to fulfill our project needs. The reductions were routine and a function of our current project requirements."

This is said to have nothing to do with yesterday's announcement of the resigning of CFO Thomas Powell and Senior VP Steve Allison.


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