Will there be a WWE ’14? YES!
Back in January, video game publisher THQ had filed for bankruptcy and had sold its franchises to other companies in an auction but a few never got bought. One of them was the WWE license and the fate of its next title in limbo as rumors swirled of who would pick up the license. All that ends today as publisher 2K and WWE have agreed to an exclusive multi-year deal and will begin with this year title, WWE 2K14. The WWE series will go under the 2K Sports as it bolster their line-up with the highly successful NBA 2K series.
Here is the official press release from 2K:
2K and WWE® Announce Exclusive Multi-Year Agreement forWWE Video Game Series
New York, NY AND Stamford, Conn. – February 20, 2013 – 2K and WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced that they have entered into an exclusive multi-year agreement granting 2K the exclusive worldwide rights to publish the critically acclaimed WWE video game franchise across all major platforms and distribution channels. The series, which will continue to be developed by Yukes in Japan, will combine the studio’s signature gameplay with 2K’s commitment to authenticity in WWE ’14, the latest iteration of the popular, long running series. With the addition of the WWE franchise, 2K will continue a highly-successful, 15-year tradition established by past WWE titles. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The WWE series is a great addition to our stable of triple-A titles, and we’re very happy with this exclusive agreement with our new partners,” said David Ismailer, Chief Operating Officer for 2K. “We look forward to capturing the excitement of WWE and marrying it with the same commitment to authenticity and entertainment that we give to our NBA 2K and MLB 2K franchises.”
2K has a strong history in growing premier sports simulation titles, evidenced by the incredible commercial success of the NBA 2K series, with more than 15 million units of NBA 2K11, NBA 2K12 and NBA 2K13 sold-in worldwide to date worldwide. This year, in the first week of its release, NBA 2K13 sold 49 percent more copies in the same time frame than the franchise’s previous record-holder, NBA 2K11.
“2K’s reputation for outstanding quality and dedication to authenticity are a perfect fit for WWE,” added Casey Collins, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products for WWE. “This new partnership will ensure that WWE continues to be one of the leading video game brands in the world and we look forward to continuing the franchise with the benefit of their expertise across a variety of platforms.”
“The development work on the WWE franchise is impressive, and we’re excited to combine our background in developing the NBA 2K series with theirs in this new partnership,” concluded Greg Thomas, Executive Vice President of 2K Sports. “Fans can expect the most authentic WWE experience on game consoles this fall.”
Developed by Yukes, WWE ’14 is not yet rated by the ESRB and will be available for consoles in the fall of 2013.
For more information on 2K, visit www.2K.com.
2K is a wholly owned publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).
WWE, a publicly traded company (WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 600 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Istanbul and Tokyo.
Additional information on WWE (WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.
Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television and pay-per-view programming distribution agreements; the need for continually developing creative and entertaining programming; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent McMahon; the conditions of the markets in which we compete and acceptance of the Company’s brands, media and merchandise within those markets; our exposure to bad debt risk; uncertainties relating to regulatory and litigation matters; risks resulting from the highly competitive nature of our markets; uncertainties associated with international markets; the importance of protecting our intellectual property and complying with the intellectual property rights of others; risks associated with producing and travelling to and from our large live events, both domestically and internationally; the risk of accidents or injuries during our physically demanding events; risks relating to our film business; risks relating to increasing content production for distribution on various platforms, including the potential creation of a WWE Network; risks relating to our computer systems and online operations; risks relating to the large number of shares of common stock controlled by members of the McMahon family and the possibility of the sale of their stock by the McMahons or the perception of the possibility of such sales; the relatively small public float of our stock; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends, general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant.
Founded in 2005, 2K develops and publishes interactive entertainment for console systems, handheld gaming systems and personal computers, including smartphones and tablets through its three divisions: 2K Games, 2K Sports, and 2K Play that are delivered through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services. 2K publishes titles in today’s most popular gaming genres, including first-person shooters, action, role-playing, real-time strategy, sports, casual, and family entertainment. The 2K label has some of the most talented development studios in the world today, including Firaxis Games, Visual Concepts, Irrational Games, 2K Marin, 2K Australia, 2K Czech, Cat Daddy Games, and 2K China. 2K has achieved many key industry milestones, including launching the 2007 Game of the Year – BioShock®; publishing the critically acclaimedBorderlands® franchise; continuing the award-winning Sid Meier’s Civilization® series; delivering the #1 rated and #1 selling basketball franchise with NBA® 2K*; and breaking new ground in the family entertainment market with its multi-million unit selling hit Carnival Games. 2K is headquartered in Novato, California and is a wholly owned label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO). For more information, please visitwww.2K.com.
*According to 2008 – 2013 Metacritic.com and The NPD Group estimates of U.S. retail video game sales through January 2013.
All trademarks and copyrights contained herein are the property of their respective holders.
About Take-Two Interactive Software
Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a leading developer, marketer and publisher of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. The Company develops and publishes products through its two wholly-owned labels Rockstar Games and 2K, which publishes its titles under the 2K Games, 2K Sports and 2K Play brands. Our products are designed for console systems, handheld gaming systems and personal computers, including smartphones and tablets, and are delivered through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services. The Company’s common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO. For more corporate and product information please visit our website at http://www.take2games.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
The statements contained herein which are not historical facts are considered forward-looking statements under federal securities laws and may be identified by words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “projects,” “seeks,” “will,” or words of similar meaning and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the outlook for the Company’s future business and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to them, which are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and results may vary materially from these forward-looking statements based on a variety of risks and uncertainties including: our dependence on key management and product development personnel, our dependence on our Grand Theft Auto products and our ability to develop other hit titles for current generation platforms, the timely release and significant market acceptance of our games, the ability to maintain acceptable pricing levels on our games, our ability to raise capital if needed and risks associated with international operations. Other important factors and information are contained in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, in the section entitled “Risk Factors,” and the Company’s other periodic filings with the SEC, which can be accessed at www.take2games.com. All forward-looking statements are qualified by these cautionary statements and apply only as of the date they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.