WWE video games will continue to be developed & published by THQ through 2018 after a new agreement signed by the two companies. The agreement also puts an end to ongoing issues battle between WWE, THQ and Jakks regarding the WWE‘s video game publishing rights.
THQ AND WWE SIGN EIGHT-YEAR DEAL
THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) and World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE), leaders in video gaming and sports entertainment, today announced that they have entered into a new eight-year agreement granting THQ the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and publish video games based on WWEÂ®â€™s content effective January 1, 2010.
Since WWE entered the video game market in 1990, it has been a recognized leader and one of the top ten best-selling brands since 1995* according to NPD Group. Through September 30, 2009, THQ has reported net sales of WWE video games in excess of $1.4 billion.
â€œThis agreement ensures that WWE games will continue to be an important cornerstone of THQâ€™s annual release schedule for the long term,â€ said Brian Farrell, THQ President and Chief Executive Officer. â€œWe look forward to working directly with WWE to expand their brand in the video game space through continued game play innovation and increased online delivery of WWE content.â€
â€œAs one of the most successful video game brands, WWE is excited to work directly with THQ to translate WWEâ€™s colorful characters and ever-changing content into exciting and fresh video games for our fans,â€ said Donna Goldsmith, WWE Chief Operating Officer.
â€œThis yearâ€™s highly rated WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 video game demonstrates the innovation and creativity that THQ brings to WWE,â€ said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. â€œThis new licensing agreement will ensure that we continue our tremendous success in the video game industry in the years to come.â€
*Based on US Market brand ranking 1995-November 2009
About World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly, PG content across all of its platforms including television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 500 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Shanghai, Tokyo, Toronto and Sydney. Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) can be found at corporate.wwe.com.
About THQ Inc.
THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) is a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. The company develops its products for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. Headquartered in Los Angeles County, California, THQ sells product through its global network of offices located throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. More information about THQ and its products may be found at www.thq.com. THQ and the THQ logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc.
Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, copyrights and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements about THQ
The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be â€œforward-looking statementsâ€ within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the business of THQ Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively referred to as â€œTHQâ€), including, but not limited to, expectations and projections related to the release of WWE video games, and are based upon managementâ€™s current beliefs and certain assumptions made by management. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, business, competitive, economic, legal, political and technological factors affecting our industry, operations, markets, products or pricing. Readers should carefully review the risk factors and the information that could materially affect THQâ€™s financial results, described in other documents that THQ files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal period ended March 31, 2009, and particularly the discussion of risk factors set forth therein. Unless otherwise required by law, THQ disclaims any obligation to update its view on any such risks or uncertainties or to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements about WWE
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company’s brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition to these risks and uncertainties, our dividend is based on a number of factors, including our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan, our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and such other factors as our board of directors may consider relevant.