Settlement Gives THQ the WWE License Until 2018

THQ wrapped up two big loose ends at the end of this year, reaching a settlement with Jakks Pacific over who owed what for the rights to World Wrestling Entertainment and, separately, extending its deal with the promoter to 2018.

In the first case, a three-party settlement among all involved will see THQ paying WWE $13.2 million, and Jakks another $20 million in four installments over the next four years. THQ and Jakks had been partners in the WWE venture, and this settlement effectively buys out Jakks, as the two sides have announced that their partnership ends Dec. 31.

THQ and Jakks had been in litigation since July, after Jakks had notified WWE it would renew the two sides' license, but THQ then sued, saying Jakks wasn't authorized to make such a decision. The payments to both WWE and Jakks resolve those entanglements.

Secondly the license renewal between THQ and WWE begins on Jan 1. and lasts eight years, which is three years beyond the original renewal term. Terms of that were not disclosed.

Got all that? What's it mean? One, THQ will continue to make WWE games, such as its Smackdown vs. Raw series. And, two, it puts that license out of reach for the next eight years. The lack of resolution on this issue had led some to speculate that EA Sports, which has teased a new game announcement come January, might be moving in on 'rasslin. We now know that not to be the case, so EA Sports' new game will have to be something else.