THQ and Jakks Pacific have announced the development of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009
for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PSP, Wii, DS and mobile devices, a continuation of a franchise the companies say has shipped more than 37 million units worldwide since 1999.
The title, shipping in fall 2008, comes after THQ's recent announcement
of legal victory against Jakks in ongoing royalty suits over the use of the WWE license in its games. Following the suit, the companies arbitrated licensing fees THQ will pay Jakks as part of a new joint venture.
Under the terms of the joint venture, THQ is responsible for all franchise operations, with Jakks "not actively involved."
THQ worldwide marketing SVP Bob Aniello commented, "The ambitious cross-platform launch of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008
last year yielded tremendous growth for the franchise, as we delivered multiple gameplay experiences across seven platforms and greatly expanded our audience of WWE videogame fans. With dynamic new features and the extension of our gameplay experience through downloadable content, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 will bring more console, handheld and wireless gamers together to enjoy the virtual world of WWE.”