History lesson: despite decreasing sales and quality standards of late, Mortal Kombat is without a doubt Midway's most important remaining asset. And Ed Boon created Mortal Kombat. So he's important to Midway.
Which is why, despite the remainder of their business operations seemingly falling down around them, Midway have sought to secure the continued payment of Boon's "bonus" structure throughout the company's bankruptcy proceedings, which they say is "critical to maximizing the value of one of the Debtors' primary assets".
To give you an idea of what they're talking about, Boon is picking up $900,000 for the completion and sales of Mortal Kombat vs DS. He's also getting $105,000 in bonuses for the franchise itself, coming from sales of older titles and other things like movies.
More money will no doubt need to be freed up later in the year, as Midway's bankruptcy paperwork also reveals that he's working on a new entry in "the Debtors' most successful video game series" (ie Mortal Kombat), and that a new game in the series will be out in Q4 2009.
That's a lot of money to be throwing around when there's not much Midway money to go around, but there's certainly a good reason for it. Midway argue, and rightly so, that Boon is the last Ace they've got left up their sleeve. If he took off, investors and other assorted pundits would call it a day on Midway's potential to crank out any decent (or half-decent games).
What's also of note is just how much money that is. Boon and Mortal Kombat have a history, but there hasn't been a really good game from either in a long, long time. Imagine the kind of bonus payments people like Ken Levine, Will Wright and Dude Huge are picking up...