With the news yesterday that video game publishing giant THQ had bottomed out and was in the process of selling off all of its assets, the Internet exploded, with many wondering which franchises would end up where. While most big projects have already been picked up, many were left guessing where the lucurative WWE license might end up, and though the ink isn't quite dried on the contracts yet, it's widely anticipated that Take Two Entertainment's acquisition of the license will be completed in the next few days. What does this spell for WWE games to come? It's a confusing time as no official statements have been made yet; will Yukes continue development on their next WWE game, WWE 14, or will this year's title be quickly cobbled together by the superb team at 2K Games, who develop titles under the Take Two banner? Or strangely enough, will there perhaps be a "fallow year" without a WWE game for the first time in well over a decade? Here are 10 implications from THQ's impending sale of the WWE license to Take Two.
10. Yukes Will Probably Still Make WWE 14
The main question on everyone's lips is whether Yukes will continue to develop WWE games despite their publisher, THQ, now being a smouldering husk. Of course, a publisher dying has little to no reflection on the developer itself, so it's quite possible that Take Two, not wanting to upset the status quo, will continue to work with them on future wrestling games. Possible, but nowhere near definite, as there are also other avenues they might decide to pursue. As for the immediate future, given that Yukes have likely already sunk significant development time into WWE 14, one can expect that if Take Two were smart, they would publish a Yukes-developed WWE 14 under their own label, giving them a "buffer year" so to speak, in the likely event that they want to take the license away from Yukes afterwards and award it to their own 2K Games. Rather than risk rushing out a WWE game by November from scratch, or in fact not even releasing a game at all this year, why not yet Yukes take one last crack at the series they've dutifully overseen for years?
Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.