IGN, as well as other outlets, reported last night that Take Two purchased the WWE video game license from THQ, not EA Sports as had been previously assumed and rumored. While this still hasn’t been confirmed by Take Two, an official announcement is expected at some point today.
Currently the WWE franchise is published by THQ, with Yukes developing the game and owning the physics engine used for gameplay. It isn’t known at this time but one would assume Take Two would be interested in partnering with Yukes at least for this year’s incarnation of the WWE video game. Otherwise there could be delays in development, leading to the cancellation of WWE ’14 and even possibly WWE ’15.
Another uncertainty surrounding the sale of the franchise is what happens with the online servers, which are currently hosted by THQ. Those servers are already pretty pathetic as it is, so it would be safe to assume they would be killed when the properties are transferred from THQ to Take Two. Unless, of course, Take Two wanted to keep those servers active as a show of good will and to build optimism toward their future WWE releases. Unfortunately, Take Two doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to online gaming either.
It’s not all bad, though, when thinking of what the future of WWE Games could look like with Take Two in charge. They are, after all, the studio behind the NBA 2K franchise, widely regarded as one of the best in sports. If Yukes stays attached in some capacity it could merely be Take Two tweaking the formula to their style while not changing the overall scheme.
On the flip side, Take Two is also the studio that brought us the MLB 2K series, regarded as a terrible game every single year. This year, with most pundits thinking the company wouldn’t even release a baseball game, Take Two announced that they would be releasing MLB 2K13 after all. It will likely be the final game in the series, though, which is even more reason for Take Two to want the WWE Games license, filling a hole created by the absence of the baseball franchise.