Wednesday, October 20, 2004

WWE Sues Jakks Pacific & THQ
Posted by Anthony :: 2:17 PM

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. Files Suit Against Jakks Pacific, Inc., THQ, Inc. and Related Defendants
STAMFORD, Conn., October 19, 2004 --World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (“WWE”) today filed a fourteen count complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Jakks Pacific, Inc. (“Jakks”), two foreign subsidiaries of Jakks, THQ, Inc. (“THQ”), a joint venture involving Jakks and THQ, Stanley Shenker & Associates, Inc. (“SSAI”) and Bell Licensing, LLC. The suit also names as defendants certain individuals employed by the corporate defendants, including specifically Jack Friedman, Stephen Berman and Joel Bennett, the three highest-ranking executives of Jakks, and Stanley Shenker and James Bell.

To summarize all this legal jibber-jabber: When the WWE (then WWF) video game license was up for grabs in 1998, it appears that the WWE's director of Licensing, and an independent licensing agent, cooked up a scheme with Jakks Pacific in order to get the license, which invloved bribes and kick-backs. They later teamed up with THQ, as they were the ones who had the resources to actually make the games (THQ had just come off the WCW license).

Now, remember that this is all alleged, nothing has been proven yet in court. But this could mean a huge shake-up in the gaming world if things go WWE's way in court. WWE is looking to void their license with both parities.

Another option would be to void the license, and strike a new one, this time without Jakks Pacific invloved.

SmackDown Vs. RAW for the PS2 will still be released, on November 2nd in North America.


Makes you wonder what the status of the new Xbox WWE game is. If I remember reading, they were moving the Wrestlemania named game from the GC to the XBox. If it's been put on hold, you probably won't see another WWE game for the Xbox until the new system comes out.

I hate to say I read his blog, but Scooter Queefer made a good point in that the WWE & EA might make excellent bed fellows.
If WWE ends up with EA, then that means they're back with AKI.

And that's good news for everyone. :)
Maybe I'm inferring a bit too much into this one, but it seems to me like the WWE isn't happy with THQ anymore. THey could have known this forever and wanted to use it to break the 10 year contract they had with THQ. I don't blame them, they haven't found a great publisher to make a great WWE game since THQ + AKI. And EA, as big and evil as they're getting, could probably whip up a Madden-level wrestling game in a few years. So more power to 'em.

- Dan
Also, I'd probably post anonymously if I was admitting I read Scott Keith's blog. ;)

- Dan
Yes, I do agree that WWE + EA + AKI = Golden Gold. I just hope they don't decide to use a new engine, otherwise we'd have a new WCW Mayhem, and who really wants that?
I will say if they go to EA, hopefully, they can get it in their contract for the EA Big side of things. Mainly, for the already mentioned of "WCW Mayhem"
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