THQ, the company responsible of publishing WWE's most popular video games since 2000, filed for bankruptcy in December of last year, after which the publishing rights were sold to Take-Two Interactive. Now, new details have emerged on the agreement between the two companies.
A recent report by Bloomberg.com contains a bit of legal mumbo-jumbo, but also an important nugget of information for fans of WWE video games.
The report states that WWE's and Yuke's (who developed the games) contracts "will be terminated and the companies will be allowed to enter into new agreements with Take-Two, which will hire THQ's employees that work on the wrestling games."
On the business side of things, WWE has agreed to drop its pre-bankruptcy claim of roughly $45 million and its claims of annual royalty advances for the licensing contract that was to run through 2017.
Instead, THQ will pay WWE $650, 000 in royalty payments for the WWE games sold while under bankruptcy protection.
The most significant information reported above is surely Take-Two's hiring of THQ employees to work on the company's wrestling games.
THQ has produced all of the WWF/E "SmackDown" and "SmackDown vs. Raw" games, and revamped the franchise in 2011 when it released "WWE '12," dropping the SmackDown name in favor of a naming system more similar to other sporting franchises like Madden and FIFA.
The news may be bittersweet for fans of the video games. The first five annual games from 2000 to 2004 were released to great critical acclaim, but criticisms of staleness have plagued all of the games after that.
Take-Two is responsible for the wildly popular "Grand Theft Auto" franchise and could have very well given the series a breath of fresh air.
Then again, its different design philosophies could have done more bad than good.
With Take-Two planning to hire the THQ team that worked on the previous games, will we just be seeing more of the same with WWE '14, or will we get the gaming revolution we were promised with WWE '13? Only time will tell.
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