Yuke's, a Japanese developer who primarily creates wrestling games, has purchased a controlling 51.5% of shares in the New Japan Pro Wrestling league from star Antonio Inoki. The deal to buy the necessary 27,800 shares in the league is scheduled to happen on November 30th.
The move will result in the NJPW becoming a subsidiary of Yuke's, which has developed the New Japan Pro Wrestling: Toukon Retsuden
games since 1995 on platforms including the PlayStation, Dreamcast, and even the Japan-only WonderSwan handheld system. In the U.S., Yuke's is better known as the company behind the WWE SmackDown!
and Rumble Roses
games for THQ and Konami, respectively.
Simon Kelly Inoki, son-in-law of Antonio Inoki, who founded the NJPW league in 1972, explained that the sale was made to fend off a potential hostile takeover by unknown investors, according to additional information translated by consumer website IGN. Yuke's has not announced how they plan to exploit its new purchase, if at all, as it currently has no new Toukon Retsuden
games in the works. Its current projects are Wrestle Kingdom
and Rumble Roses XX
, both for Xbox 360.