Take-Two is set to publish future WWE games after reaching an agreement with World Wrestling Entertainment, bankrupt publisher and license holder THQ, and Japanese studio Yuke's.
The Grand Theft Auto publisher told 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.”
If all goes to plan as expected, Take-Two will hire THQ's WWE game production staff of about 20 employees. The fact that Take-Two has yet to form new contracts with WWE or Yuke's puts a 2013 game release in doubt, although it’s not out of the question as THQ had been working on one.
Meanwhile, the WWE and Yuke's have both agreed to waive claims against THQ. The publisher will cease selling its back catalogue of WWE games and pay WWE about $650,000 in royalties, while Yuke's is set to receive possession of the 14 per cent of its equity the publisher holds, worth about $4.5 million, plus a $250,000 royalty payment.
The most recent WWE game launched last October for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. And while we praised it for being the “the best wrestling package of the year” in our WWE 13 review, we also said “we hope the gameplay is freshened up a little more next time”.
Many of THQ’s biggest assets like Saints Row and Company of Heroes were acquired last month following an auction process, but other intellectual properties such as Darksiders and Red Faction remain on the table after failing to find a buyer.