Defunct publisher THQ hands off wrestling franchise

Take-Two snaps up WWE license

The WWE wrestling franchise has been picked up by Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two.

The license was previously held by the bankrupt THQ, and the deal – reported by Bloomberg – is said to save the company millions.

"By working together to transition development of WWE games going forward, the parties have minimised the harm to WWE and Yuke’s, which have, in turn, agreed to substantial reductions of their claims," said lawyers for THQ.

Had it not been for this agreement, the lawyers said the combined claims of WWE and game developer Yuke’s "would certainly exceed $30 million and might exceed $60 million.”

The deal will terminate all previous contracts allowing new agreements with Take-Two, which will hire former THQ employees that worked on wrestling games.

It does so while sidestepping the “very large damage claims” that could have resulted from a contract termination.

WWE waived its pre-bankruptcy claims of $45 million and royalty advances of about $7.5 million due annually through 2017.

THQ will pay WWE $650,000 for any games sold while under bankruptcy protection.

The bankrupt publisher also returned the 1,552,000 shares it held of Yuke’s equity, a $4.5 million dollar value, in order to slip the hold of some $15-to-20 million in pre-bankruptcy claims. THQ will also pay the developer $250,000.

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