News: Come back Smash TV! Come back!
The game blog Consoleation is reporting that the nine Midway-published games on the Xbox Live Arcade are no longer available to download.
The nine titles come from Midway's arcade heyday and will be sorely missed if they never return to the XBLA:
Root Beer Tapper
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
The delisting is likely due to Midway's bankruptcy last year, when most of their assets were purchased by Warner Bros. Games. For example, former Midway developer Mark Turmell was quoted in this month's issue of Nintendo Power saying that Warner Bros. owns the rights to Smash TV. In addition, the publisher definitely has its hands in the development of Mortal Kombat 9. Not to mention a third MK movie. The rights to the rest are likely in Warner's grasp as well.
Interestingly enough, Amazon is still selling download codes for the delisted games. It's unknown if they would work after your purchase, however. Also, Midway-published games are still available to download on the PlayStation Network.
As Warner Bros. completes their acquisition of Midway, this will likely all be resolved soon. Hopefully with news on what WB Games plans to do with Midway's storied franchises. But as I wrote in an article entitled Bejeweled Blitz and the Disappearing Web Games last week, "history is disappearing" and we in the video game industry need to ensure that future generations get a chance to play these downloadable games. And we can't let giant corporations keep these games hidden away under lock and key.