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THQ Gets Eight More Years With WWE, Settles With Jakks

THQ has put some long-awaited certainty in its license portfolio as it finally signs a new eight-year, $13.2 million deal with wrestling brand WWE, a license it calls "an important cornerstone" of its yearly schedule going forward.
THQ has put some long-awaited certainty in its license portfolio as it finally signs a new eight-year, $13.2 million deal deal with wrestling brand WWE. "This agreement ensures that WWE games will continue to be an important cornerstone of THQ’s annual release schedule for the long term," says THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell in a statement. It was known that both companies wanted to extend their deal, but THQ had first to resolve its outstanding issues with Jakks Pacific, with whom it had a joint licensing relationship for WWE. Alongside the licensing extension, THQ and Jakks have finally settled their outstanding litigation over royalty rates; THQ will pay Jakks $20 million over four years, and the two companies' joint venture will end at the end of 2009. This year, the licensing partnership between THQ and WWE yielded Smackdown vs. Raw 2009, which saw strong sales despite mixed reviews. The game's performance helped THQ weather a considerable year over year sales decrease, and licensed fighting-sport games continue to be a strong part of the company's portfolio. WWE COO Donna Goldsmith says, "As one of the most successful video game brands, WWE is excited to work directly with THQ to translate WWE’s colorful characters and ever-changing content into exciting and fresh video games for our fans."

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