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Midway to Cut 180 Staffers, Close Austin Studio

Midway Games has to lay off 25 percent of its staff and has canceled several projects in early development in order to cut costs as a $150 million debt payment looms, reports VARIETY.

The January deadline for Midway's outstanding notes was triggered when Sumner Redstone sold the videogame publisher to a private investor, Mark Thomas, several weeks ago. Midway is working with advisory firm Lazard to find a way to pay off or renegotiate debt, as it is lacking the cash to pay it off.

The 180-person layoff will close the Austin, Texas studio, as well as affect the smaller San Diego office and their Chicago headquarters. Several games in early development for 2010 and 2011 have also been suspended, with the company seeking partners to buy or help fund those games in the future.

The MORTAL KOMBAT team, Midway's most successful franchise, will be unaffected. The lone bright spot for the embattled publisher was the November debut of MORTAL KOMBAT VS. DC UNIVERSE, which was the No. 3 game for PlayStation 3 and No. 8 game for Xbox 360 that month.