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Issue Date: Vol. 41, No. 8 / July 25, 2001 - August 24, 2001, Posted On: 7/25/2001

Struhs Assists With Midway Parts; Fate Of Coin-Op Assets Unknown

Marcus Webb

CHICAGO - Well before Midway Games announced its withdrawal from the coin-op amusements market in June, the company had already taken steps to ensure that "someone" would be around to supply the parts and service that are needed to keep existing Midway units running properly in the field.

For Midway video and redemption games, that entity is Midway Parts & Service (Lake Bluff, IL), headed by director of operations Sonny Corona and director of sales & marketing Scott Guttman. MPS can be contacted at (847) 810-3900; information is available online at www.midway.com (click on the "Operator Service" button). For pinball, Bally or Williams brands, the parts supplier of record is Illinois Pinball (Bloomington, IL) at (309) 828-6993.

Midway vice-president of sales & marketing Mark Struhs is remaining with the company for an indefinite period to help oversee the transition to its post-coin-op phase. Specifically, Struhs will coordinate parts and service issues with former Midway distributors. Struhs' direct line at presstime is (773) 961-2166; this number was expected to remain in service, even though Midway Games moved on July 21 from its longtime California Ave. offices to an associated building across the street.

Following Midway's exit from coin-op, industry members have wondered whether the factory might sell its coin-op assets to another manufacturer. Those assets include video game hardware and a host of famous software titles for simulators, uprights, and countertops; game networking technology; rights to redemption games and certain classic novelties such as shuffleboard; and perhaps various associated licenses.

At presstime, there was no official word as to whether Midway was actively trying to sell those assets or not. The company is closely focused on positioning itself in its new role as a purely consumer video game manufacturer. Accordingly, the fate of its coin-op assets necessarily remains a secondary concern. At least one manufacturer, thought to be a potential buyer of some Midway coin-op assets, told V/T that his company appears unlikely to make a bid for those properties. It's unknown whether other companies may bid, or are in the process of bidding, on Midway assets or not.

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