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THQ Settles Dispute with JAKKS, WWE License Extended 'til 2018

by Rainier on Dec. 22, 2009 @ 5:41 p.m. PST

After several delays, THQ, World Wrestling Entertainment, and JAKKS Pacific have reached settlement agreements with respect to the WWE video game and toy licenses and the THQ/JAKKS Pacific joint venture. While THQ will part ways with JAKKS, it has extended its WWE partnership for another 8 years.

Under the three-party settlement, all claims are withdrawn and all litigation ended among the parties without any party admitting any wrongdoing.

As part of the resolution of these matters, THQ will pay WWE $13.2 million. In addition, THQ has entered into a new eight-year video game license directly with WWE commencing January 1, 2010, which is three years longer than the renewal term under the previous arrangement between WWE and the THQ/JAKKS Pacific LLC joint venture.

In addition to its preferred return payment to JAKKS for the period ending December 31, 2009, THQ will pay JAKKS Pacific $20 million over the next four years, with payments of $6 million due June 2010 and June 2011, and payments of $4 million due June 2012 and June 2013, and the THQ/JAKKS Pacific LLC joint venture will terminate effective December 31, 2009.

WWE grants THQ the exclusive worldwide rights to publish interactive games based on WWE properties across all major gaming platforms and distribution channels.

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.

“This agreement ensures that WWE games will continue to be an important cornerstone of THQ’s annual release schedule for the long term,” said Brian Farrell, THQ President and Chief Executive Officer. “We 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.”

“As one of the most successful video game brands, WWE is excited to work directly with THQ to translate WWE’s colorful characters and ever-changing content into exciting and fresh video games for our fans,” said Donna Goldsmith, WWE Chief Operating Officer.

“This year’s highly rated WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 video game demonstrates the innovation and creativity that THQ brings to WWE,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This new licensing agreement will ensure that we continue our tremendous success in the video game industry in the years to come.”

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