Midway Games

Gun Runner [Cancelled – Xbox 360/PS3]

Gun Runner is the cancelled sequel to John Woo’s Stranglehold game from 2007; which was, in turn, a follow-up to the action movie, Hard Boiled. It was being developed by Midway’s Chicago studio and was slated to be released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in late 2009.

The title entered pre-production in May 2008, shortly after Stranglehold’s release in September 2007. It was planned to continue the ongoing story of Hard Boiled and Stranglehold. Chow Yun-fat was down to reprise the lead role of the gung-ho Inspector “Tequila”, lending again both his likeness and voice to the character.

A New Identity

Gun Runner was proposed as the start of a campaign to rebrand Stranglehold, in order to increase its mass appeal. Despite taking place after the first game, its story was going to be completely self-contained, one developer told us.

A key aspect of this new direction for the series was the introduction of Vin Diesel. The actor would have voiced another character, alongside Tequila. A former member of the team we got in touch with described Midway’s idea for the two as “a buddy cop story“. Full multiplayer co-operative support was planned for the story mode, wherein players would have each controlled of one of them. 

Cruis’n Exotica [Beta – N64 / Arcade]

As we can read on Wikipedia, Cruis’n Exotica is the 1999 sequel to Cruis’n World and the third entry in the Cruis’n series by Midway Games. The levels take place in exotic locations in the universe, such as Las Vegas, Thailand, and even the surface of Mars. The game also allows a player to choose a driver visible onscreen during races, including a martian, a baby, a clown, and a cowboy. The game was ported by Gratuitous Games and released on the Nintendo 64 in 2000.

Butterhands found some beta screenshots, that you can see below. There are 2 cars that are missing from the final version, and the car with the 2 girls is the Modbuggy, but is not faithful to the final versions. Also in the Ireland track there were cows are in the street! You could certainly have been able to hit them.

If you know someone that worked on this game or if you have a prototype with these differences, please let us know!


cruis'n exotica beta
cruis'n exotica beta
cruis'n exotica beta
cruis'n exotica beta
cruis'n exotica beta 

This is Vegas [X360 PS3 – Cancelled]

This is Vegas is an action / sandbox game that was in development for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 since 2006 / 2007  by Midway Games / Surreal Software, but sadly it seems that the game was cancelled in fall / late 2009.  Due to Midway’s financial troubles in 2009 the company sold certain assets to Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment which included This is Vegas and developer Surreal Software. SS then worked on some animations and characters for Snowblind’s LotR: War in the North. In December/January 2010 there were some layoffs and departures and in June 2010 the studio was closed down. 4 years of work on This is Vegas went directly into the bin.

Here is an introduction to This is Vegas’ story from an old Gamespot preview:

The game’s story follows you, an unnamed nobody, as you arrive in Vegas with 50 dollars in your pocket and hazy goals. As luck would have it, you’ll cross paths with Joey Nissan, a local “entrepreneur” who winds up working to get you in with the Vegas crowd. From the sound of it, this bit in the game will be your license to be decadent as you play. Of course, all good things don’t last forever, and soon you meet your nemesis: Preston Boyer, a fast food tycoon bent on cleaning up Vegas to be a family-friendly tourist trap. This doesn’t exactly fly far with you and your new crowd, so your goal will be to stop Boyer and preserve the town’s special atmosphere.




Mortal Kombat 4 [ARC DC N64 PSX – Beta]


Mortal Kombat 4 is considered the 4th intallment of the Mortal Kombat series, 6th if you count MK3U and MKT. Released in 1997, it was the first MK game to use 3D graphics. It was first released in the arcade version and it would be the last arcade MK made. It was released on the N64, Playstation and PC in 1998, ported by Eurocom. An updated version was released on Dreamcast in 1999 called Mortal Kombat Gold, which was identical with the exception of better graphics, added players and a few more stages.

A new character named Belokk was intended to appear in Mortal Kombat Gold, but was cut from the released game. The developer of the game, Eurocom, sent information about the game with Belokk to Game Informer, and as a result, six screenshots of him were published. According to Ed Boon, Belokk was cut due to time constraints during development. Despite the mention of Belokk’s scrap, he was still rumored to appear as a secret character. [Infos from Wikipedia]

Actual secret characters can be accessed via rotating a specific box for a normal character, however when a player do this to Tanya’s box a question mark that was rumored to unlock Belokk appears, but it unlock nothing.

Since it was the first Midway 3D fighting game, the staff had many difficulties while in development, partly due to the fact the staff had doubled in size. Which means many changes were made and many interesting aspects were taken out.

Differences from the arcade version to the N64 version would include: Lower pixel rate and additions such as Goro being a playable character, extra costumes, and another arena called Ice Pit.

Pre-release trailers show Reptile and Fujin with God-O-Mite as their name in the lifebars. More then likely this was before they got to the name detail.

Kitana, Noob Saibot and Kano were orignally going to be in MK4. Kitana was then changed to Tanya. Noob saibot was taken in and out many times and replaced with Reiko. Jarek replaced Kano and for some reason was left with Kano’s moves, which caused many fans to complain because Jarek was hardly original. Noob Saibot can be accessed in the N64 version by a cheat, but was never in the Arcade. These characters were taken out mainly because Midway wanted more new characters in the game.

The hidden character Meat was originaly intended for testing.

Thanks to Pachuka and Sir_Brando for the contributions!



Crank the Weasel [XBOX/PS2 – Cancelled]

Crank the Weasel is a mature cancelled platform / adventure game that was in development by Midway Games in 2002, for the Playstation 2 and Xbox.  The goal of Crank was to create chaos in the game’s world, with lies, cheats and stealing loot from the other characters, to be able to get enough Big-Ticket-Items to fly to Pleasure Island. The game’s look and feel were inspired by 1920’s cartoon art style and authentic big band swing music, but with a humorous / mature twist, similar to  Conker’s Bad Fur Day.

In the website of Brian Silva, Co-creator and Lead Designer of Crank the Weasel, we can read many interesting info about the concepts behind the Crank project:

At the beginning of a game, each NPC possesses a preliminary set of “ideal” characteristics, meaning that they will go about their business, acting and functioning in an initially “composed” manner appropriate for their personality type. However, depending upon Weasel’s player-controlled actions (as well as the independent actions of the NPCs), these “ideal” characteristics will soon begin to alter as they are manipulated in a vast variety of ways that can either benefit or work against the player, and often provide surprising results. NPCs, while going about their business, will even change their own behavior to suit their immediate needs even if Weasel does not interact with them, resulting in amusing and varied gameplay. Basically, each playfield would naturally evolve on it’s own, Weasel just happens to throw a huge wrench into the equation.

An example of the weird scenarios that the player would have been able to explore in the game, is the Hell level:

While floating along the River Styx, Weasel can hear the merry tune of Jingle Bells echoing throughout the fiery pits of hell, snow is drifting, trees are decorated, lights are hung, and all the little devils want to wish Weasel a “Merry Christmas!” Gnarled and twisting tree roots wrap and wind from above and all throughout this town of torment. Little demons drive their little demon cars, walk their demon dogs, and mow their demon lawns in front of their little demon houses. Elevators transport a nonstop supply of unrighteous heathens to the hoary underworld to suffer an abundance of dreadful eternities. Weasel will be glad to know that there are hundreds of take out restaurants in hell… unfortunately they’re all Chinese take out, and the only available places of business are either the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Internal Revenue Service, Hellth Food stores, Social Security Departments, jury duty registration, or fabric stores. But on the bright side, there’s plenty of flashy advertising for products and places that these sinners will never have a chance to enjoy.

Sadly Crank the Weasel was  officially cancelled in 2003, as we can read at IGN Xbox:

“That game will never come out,” said our source from the innards at Midway. “It just never seemed to take off and all I can tell you is that you’re not going to see it again.”