Skip to main content

THQ enters new 8 year WWE publishing deal

Company settles legal dispute with Jakks and extends licence with WWE

THQ has been granted the rights to develop and publish WWE games for the next eight years and settled its long-running legal dispute with toy company Jakks Pacific in the process.

The deal granted the publisher worldwide publishing rights to the wrestling franchise as from January 1 2010 and will ensure WWE games continue to feature on THQ's release schedule for the long term, according to the company's president Brian Farrell.

"This agreement ensures that WWE games will continue to be an important cornerstone of THQ's annual release schedule for the long term," Farrell commented. "We look forward to working directly with WWE to expand their brand in the video game space through continued game play innovation and increased online delivery of WWE content."

"As one of the most successful video game brands, WWE is excited to work directly with THQ to translate WWE's colourful characters and ever-changing content into exciting and fresh video games for our fans," added Donna Goldsmith, WWE Chief Operating Officer.

The signing of the deal also marks the end of long-running legal disputes between THQ and Jakks Pacific over the licence and agreed royalty rates.

Under a three-party settlement, all claims will be withdrawn and litigation ended without any party admitting any wrongdoing.

As part of the resolution, THQ is to pay WWE USD 13.2 million and, in addition to a preferred return payment for the period ending December 31 2009, the publisher will also pay Jakks Pacific USD 20 million over the next four years. The joint venture between the two companies was terminated as from the end of 2009.

Although the settlement had eliminated uncertainty over the WWE licence going forward, Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities said he expected the deal to have a neutral impact on THQ financials.

To reflect lower-than-expected sales from the publisher in Q3 so far, Pachter's revised revenue forecast for the quarter was reduced from USD 360 million to USD 325 million.

Read this next

Related topics