Warner Bros. in $33 mil bid for Midway Games

Bankrupt video game maker's assets include "Mortal Kombat"

NEW YORK -- Time Warner's Warner Bros. unit has made a $33 million bid for key parts of bankrupt video game maker Midway Games in a move that would further strengthen its burgeoning games business, a source confirmed Thursday.

In an agreement that still requires bankruptcy court approval and that could be trumped by other bidders, Warner Bros. has offered to buy such key assets as the "Mortal Kombat" franchise and Midway's Chicago and Seattle studios, gaming blog Gamasutra had first reported.

Not included in the bid are the firm's San Diego and Newcastle studios, as well as the TNA game franchise.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has bulked up in recent years amid the strong growth in video games. It has, for example, in the past acquired Monolith Productions, Snowblind Studios and TT Games.

"As this is an opening bid, and we are expecting other interested parties to come in with competitive bids, it is unknown at this time what the final outcome of the process will be," said a Midway spokesman. "It is our goal through this process to maximize the value of the company and the company's assets."

Gamasutra had reported that the Warner offer came in a so-called "stalking horse bid," in which the seller, chooses a buyer from a pool of interested firms to prevent a sale at too low a price.

After an initial deal agreement, other bidders have a month to make competing offers.