ESPN is reporting that Take-Two Interactive has signed an exclusive five-year deal with World Wrestling Entertainment to create and publish WWE-based wrestling games. The new WWE-based games will fall under the name "WWE 2K," with the first game to be released this fall as WWE 2K14, reports ESPN. Take-Two and the WWE have not made an official announcement about this deal yet. ESPN also reports that Take-Two has hired THQ's Fight Team, the internal group that managed development and marketing of the WWE series; the Fire Team will report to 2K Sports' design team at Visual Concepts.
Yuke's will continue to develop the games as they have for THQ in the past.
"We've been very happy with what [Yuke's] has done in the past," said Casey Collins, WWE's executive vice president of consumer products, in an interview with ESPN. "What we're going to do moving forward is meld [Yuke's] with the team at Visual Concepts, so we can have the best of both worlds. Having [Yuke's] experience and then getting the Visual Concepts guys on board with them, we think this is going to be a dynamic duo."
Jason Argent, vice president of marketing for 2K Sports, told ESPN that the company wants to bring the same level of attention it brought to the NBA to the WWE license:
"Everything that we've done with NBA is what we're trying to contribute to WWE," he said. "So the growth that you've [seen] 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."