Fans unsure about the future of the WWE video game franchise after publisher THQ closed its doors earlier this year can rest easy: The World Wrestling Entertainment series is in safe hands, with Take-Two Interactive picking up the reins.
The agreement was reached between WWE, THQ and long-time developer Yuke’s, and is currently awaiting court approval. Once the judge gives its stamp, Take-Two will take on publishing duties for WWE video games, developed by Yuke’s, who has been in the industry for more than a decade.
A statement from Take-Two is remarkably positive:
We can confirm that we have entered into an agreement to publish the WWE video game series that is developed by Yukes. 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 new deal sees WWE dissolving a claim it held against THQ, where the publisher licensed the franchise until 2017. If the license had been terminated instead of dissolved, THQ would have quickly found itself owing around $45 million.
Yuke’s also dissolved its claims against THQ (running $15-20 million), payment for development of last year’s WWE 13 and the upcoming 2014 instalment. Instead, the developer will receive formerly THQ-owned equity (14%, or around $4.5 million in shares), and a royalty payment of $250,000.