Take-Two Interactive has picked up the rights to produce videogames featuring WWE’s wrestlers, after THQ lost the license when it was forced to close its doors at the end of January.
New games will be released under the popular 2K sports brand, with the first game, “WWE ’14,” to bow this fall through the exclusive multi-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Talks quickly began taking place after THQ began selling off its development studios and top titles at an auction to companies like Ubisoft, Sega and Crytek, after declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
WWE has produced videogames for the past 15 years, and was eager to find a new publishing partner for its franchise after THQ wound up shuttering.
“2K’s reputation for outstanding quality and dedication to authenticity are a perfect fit for WWE,” said Casey Collins, executive VP, consumer products for WWE. “This new partnership will ensure that WWE continues to be one of the leading video game brands in the world and we look forward to continuing the franchise with the benefit of their expertise across a variety of platforms.”
Developer Yukes will continue to develop the series, based out of Japan, but will incorporate what 2K has learned while producing its “NBA 2K” series.
Company has sold 15 million copies of its past three “NBA 2K” games combined worldwide, with “NBA 2K13” selling 49% more copies than “NBA 2K11,” in its first week, signaling increased interest for the franchise.
“The WWE series is a great addition to our stable of triple-A titles, and we’re very happy with this exclusive agreement with our new partners,” said David Ismailer, chief operating officer for 2K. “We look forward to capturing the excitement of WWE and marrying it with the same commitment to authenticity and entertainment that we give to our ‘NBA 2K’ and ‘MLB 2K’ franchises.”