Confirmed: Take-Two is indeed taking over the WWE brand of video games
Since the collapse of THQ, word had been going around the good ol' internet that Take-Two Interactive had acquired the WWE license. It turns out it was all true after all, and the major distributor will in fact handle the brand of wrestling games.
The acquisition means a lot of things for THQ, developer Yuke's, and WWE. First off, both Yuke's and WWE had claims worth millions of dollars. "By working together to transition development of WWE games going forward, the parties have minimized the harm to WWE and Yuke’s, which have, in turn, agreed to substantial reductions of their claims [against THQ]," stated Take-Two's lawyers.
Existing contracts for both Yuke's and WWE will be terminated, and the two entities will enter into new negotiations with Take-Two. Additionally, WWE has agreed to waive $45 million worth of pre-bankruptcy claims and royalty advances of around $7.5 million through 2017. Instead, THQ is now only responsible for paying WWE $650,000 in royalties while the company is under bankruptcy protection.
As far as Yuke's is concered, THQ will return the 14 percent stake it owned right back to the developer. This amounts to 1,552,000 shares or a value of $4.5 million and will nullify the pre-bankruptcy claims of about $15 million to $20 million that Yuke's was to receive. Last, THQ will grant the studio $250,000 in royalties under bankruptcy protection.
Now that all the legal stuff is out of the way, we can begin to speculate in regards to the future of WWE video games. A lot of individuals will agree that it was time for some new blood to be involved in the creation of these rasslin' games. While Yuke's and former THQ employees will still be on board as part of this new deal, Take-Two's involvement (and possibly 2K Games' involvement) could mean a fresh start for the series.
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