Superstar CM Punk turned his back on the WWE following this year’s Royal Rumble event in January, but his likeness plays a pretty crucial part in the upcoming release of WWE 2K15. Now, the wrestler has contacted his former employers asking for his share of royalties from the game.
The game’s “Showcase” mode tracks the real-world rivalry between CM Punk and fellow Superstar John Cena, which took place between 2011-14. While it was only announced in August, this had been planned, decided and developed before Punk’s departure from WWE, as was Punk’s inclusion in the game’s roster.
After walking out in January, CM Punk did not work for the WWE for the remainder of his contract. WWE continued paying royalties for the use of his likeness and branding, as the company tried to convince the Superstar to return. Now though, the company has stopped paying him any money for either contract or royalties. It’s worth noting that WWE has not challenged CM Punk for breaching his contract despite leaving with six months left.
New reports suggest that Punk’s not fond of this outcome. His lawyers have issued WWE executives with a 22 page letter regarding the lack of royalties and the ongoing use of their client’s likeness across a number of outlets and including WWE 2K15. It is unclear whether the letter is a complaint or an official legal warning.
WWE 2K15 lands on October 28, and may well include our last chance to see CM Punk in action – he’s threatened he’ll never return to WWE.