SBD/February 21, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

2K Sports Acquires WWE's Exclusive Videogame License In Five-Year Deal

2K Sports and WWE yesterday announced a multiyear agreement granting 2K Sports the exclusive rights to publish the WWE videogame franchise. "WWE '14" will be available for all consoles in the fall (2K Sports). ESPN.com's Jon Robinson noted 2K parent company Take-Two Interactive acquired the WWE videogame license "for the next five years." THQ had held the WWE gaming rights since '99, but was "forced to sell its assets after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court struck down its potential sale to Clearlake Capital Group in January." WWE leaders were "particularly impressed by what Take-Two has done with the 'NBA 2K' franchise." 2K Sports VP/Marketing Jason Argent said, "We’ve looked at the WWE franchise with respect for a long time. There are a lot of similarities that we see, from the size of the franchise to the demographics of the franchise, and they fit in very well with what we’ve done with NBA in terms of development and marketing.” Robinson noted as part of the deal, Take-Two "has not only hired some of the key designers behind the WWE gaming franchise from THQ to work hand in hand with 2K Sports’ game design team at Visual Concepts, but has also agreed to bring back longtime WWE games developer Yukes from Japan to continue pushing ahead with the development" of "WWE '14," ensuring the game will hit its release date. Financial terms were not disclosed (ESPN.com, 2/20).
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