Take-Two Takes Over WWE Franchise From THQ

Take-Two Takes Over WWE Franchise From THQ

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The publisher-distributor pins down a deal just as THQ taps out.

Some good news for the WWE fans out there: Take-Two Interactive Software, the owner of 2K Games and Rockstar Games, has brokered an agreement with THQ, Japanese development studio Yuke's, and the WWE to assume control of the WWE videogame franchise, according to court documents filed recently.

Take-Two confirmed that it will take over the publishing role in a statement issued to Polygon. "At this time, the agreement is pending court approval and we anticipate that it will be finalized shortly. We are very excited about the potential of this agreement and will have more to share at the appropriate time." The exact price paid by Take-Two was not disclosed.

The agreement means that WWE and Yuke's are free to draw up new agreements with Take-Two in regards to making future WWE games. Take-Two will also hire about 20 members of THQ's WWE game production staff in the process.

The move will save THQ millions of dollars, as releasing the franchise will nullify any contracts the bankrupt company had with Yuke's and WWE. The current licensing agreement between THQ and WWE was due to expire in 2017, and if broken early THQ would have been obligated to pay $45 million. WWE, however, has chosen to waive the claim, although it still wants another $650,000 in royalties for WWE games sold while THQ was under bankruptcy protection.

Japanese developer Yuke's also agreed to dismiss its claims against THQ, previously declaring it was owed up to $20 million for WWE '13 and another upcoming wrestling title. Instead, it'll receive about $4.5 million worth of shares and a royalty payment of $250,000.

Take-Two's lawyers noted that the move will "minimize the harm to WWE and Yuke's," stating that both companies' claims "would certainly exceed $30 million and might exceed $60 million" had the deal not taken place.

THQ attorney Jeffrey C. Krause says that there are still about $29 million worth of assets left, including the Darksiders franchise.

Source: Bloomberg, Polygon

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Whew, we dodged a bullet there folks! God only knows what would have happened to the gaming industry if the WWE franchise vanished from the face of the earth. I mean, how else would we know what The Rock is cookin' during his leave of absence to star in oscar winning movie after oscar winning movie?

Yes, Ubisoft is now in control of The Stick of Truth, the Darksiders franchise is being left in the rubbish bin at THQ headquarters, and WWE games will continue to be made. Truly THQ's downfall has lead to the dawn of a golden age in gaming.

I ended up buying two copies of Saints Row 3, partly because I like THQ so much.

For the love of everything joyous, will somebody buy Darksiders already?!

I want to see what happens. :< Team Ninja can buy it for all I care. At least they've got the location aesthetic and combos down. <.<

OT: Good for the WWE franchise. Goes to show that sports games are so very profitable. =3

I just hope out of all this, they can be convinced to make an Allstars 2.

When you think about it, the wrestling video game is actually closer to being genuine than real life wrestling.

I might actually get a new WWE game, hope they finally let you edit what the real ones wear instead of having to make custom characters. Also I hope the Rock stays in the WWE now, no more stupid movies.

Xan Krieger:
I might actually get a new WWE game, hope they finally let you edit what the real ones wear instead of having to make custom characters. Also I hope the Rock stays in the WWE now, no more stupid movies.

Ha, ha! Why would they give you the ability to edit what the superstars wear, when they can instead use the absence of any such feature as leverage for goading you into buying alternate costume packs?

While I'm glad that the WWE games are still going to be around, I thought that a new publisher buying the rights might have been a good time for a fresh start on the franchise to see what other devs could do.

Still, I enjoy them in their current format so I can't complain too much, I suppose.

I really hope Take Two can give the WWE games a new breath of life, they've become awfully stale and bugs that have been in the last few years games are still present due to the newer games being reskins.

Xan Krieger:
I might actually get a new WWE game, hope they finally let you edit what the real ones wear instead of having to make custom characters. Also I hope the Rock stays in the WWE now, no more stupid movies.

He isn't going to, he will be back from time to time but he is dropping the title at Wrestlemania probably to SuperCena.....he is never gonna be done with wrestling but he earns waaaaaay to much to not do movies now.

$45 Million? That's almost enough to fund half a Linda McMahon senatorial campaign.

mParadox:
For the love of everything joyous, will somebody buy Darksiders already?!

OT: Good for the WWE franchise. Goes to show that sports games are so very profitable. =3

The reason nobody will buy Darksiders is because nobody bought Darksiders :P

I hope T2 will have some decent characters customization.

Xan Krieger:
I might actually get a new WWE game, hope they finally let you edit what the real ones wear instead of having to make custom characters. Also I hope the Rock stays in the WWE now, no more stupid movies.

Because the last thing anybody wants from a WWE game is to make their own wrestler.

And you know that's never going to happen.

I'm still waitin for any of the wrestlin games to have half the customization of the Gamecube Wrestlemania games.

Please Take-Two, please save UFC Undisputed too!

mParadox:
For the love of everything joyous, will somebody buy Darksiders already?!

I want to see what happens. :< Team Ninja can buy it for all I care. At least they've got the location aesthetic and combos down. <.<

OT: Good for the WWE franchise. Goes to show that sports games are so very profitable. =3

Amen to that. I know the Darksiders franchise didn't exactly sell like hotcakes, but it was still a good series. Darksiders 2 is sporting a solid 80+ metacritic rating across all platforms, and user reviews (apart from the PS3 version) follows suit.

In short, people liked it. Which means the series still has some good potential.

Yet Homefront, the p.o.s that it was, got sold instantly while Darksiders is left behind unloved and unwanted.

I just don't get it :/

WWE 13 is the first wrestling game I've bought in years..and it's actually really good... shame THQ aren't able to continue it, I've always been used to their games. Good that somebody else is getting the chance.

KeyMaster45:

Yes, Ubisoft is now in control of The Stick of Truth, the Darksiders franchise is being left in the rubbish bin at THQ headquarters, and WWE games will continue to be made. Truly THQ's downfall has lead to the dawn of a golden age in gaming.

It's almost like they saved the games people gave a damn about.

Evil Smurf:
I ended up buying two copies of Saints Row 3, partly because I like THQ so much.

So you got two middle fingers?

Xan Krieger:
I might actually get a new WWE game, hope they finally let you edit what the real ones wear instead of having to make custom characters.

I haven't got a new one since they switched from SVR to WWE randing, but I thought you could do that.

Personally, I'm just hoping this means we get a fresh start without assets left over from the early PS2 days.

 

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