10:39 AM - February 20, 2013 by Steve_OS
It appears that the WWE and 2K are five year business partners minimum, with Yukes being retained to develop the game which will release this fall. In a release sent to ESPN today, it appears 2K's work on NBA 2K is what impressed WWE officials the most. When 2K officials were approached, they saw a similar type of fit for WWE in their gaming lineup.
“We’ve looked at the WWE franchise with respect for a long time,” said Jason Argent, 2K Sports’ vice president of marketing. “There are a lot of similarities that we see, from the size of the franchise to the demographics of the franchise, and they fit in very well with what we’ve done with NBA in terms of development and marketing. We thought we could add tremendous value right off the bat and down the road. We’re super excited to get an agreement in place.”
2K will be using Yukes this year in conjunction with the team at Visual Concepts. In the future, a hybrid model of Visual Concepts and Yukes developing the game looks to occur for now, with changes to that plan obviously possible in the future.
Added Argent: “Everything that we’ve done with NBA is what we’re trying to contribute to WWE. So the growth that you’ve see in the NBA franchise from the authenticity in the game to the excitement of the marketing that surrounds it is all something we expect to add to the franchise. We’re going to create one hell of a video game franchise.”
Are you excited about the prospects?
UPDATE: Here is the press release. Is the offical name WWE '14 or WWE 2K14?
2K and WWE® Announce Exclusive Multi-Year Agreement
for WWE Video Game Series
for WWE Video Game Series
2K and WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced that they have entered into an exclusive multi-year agreement granting 2K the exclusive worldwide rights to publish the critically acclaimed WWE video game franchise across all major platforms and distribution channels. The series, which will continue to be developed by Yukes in Japan, will combine the studio’s signature gameplay with 2K’s commitment to authenticity in WWE ’14, the latest iteration of the popular, long running series. With the addition of the WWE franchise, 2K will continue a highly-successful, 15-year tradition established by past WWE titles. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The WWE series is a great addition to our stable of triple-A titles, and we’re very happy with this exclusive agreement with our new partners,” said David Ismailer, Chief Operating Officer for 2K. “We look forward to capturing the excitement of WWE and marrying it with the same commitment to authenticity and entertainment that we give to our NBA 2K and MLB 2K franchises.”
2K has a strong history in growing premier sports simulation titles, evidenced by the incredible commercial success of the NBA 2K series, with more than 15 million units of NBA 2K11, NBA 2K12 and NBA 2K13 sold-in to date worldwide. This year, in the first week of its release, NBA 2K13 sold 49 percent more copies in the same time frame than the franchise’s previous record-holder, NBA 2K11.
“2K’s reputation for outstanding quality and dedication to authenticity are a perfect fit for WWE,” added Casey Collins, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products for WWE. “This new partnership will ensure that WWE continues to be one of the leading video game brands in the world and we look forward to continuing the franchise with the benefit of their expertise across a variety of platforms.”
“The development work on the WWE franchise is impressive, and we’re excited to combine our background in developing the NBA 2K series with theirs in this new partnership,” concluded Greg Thomas, Executive Vice President of 2K Sports. “Fans can expect the most authentic WWE experience on game consoles this fall.”
Developed by Yukes, WWE ’14 is not yet rated by the ESRB and will be available for consoles in the fall of 2013.