The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that Jakks Pacific is currently in the process of attempting to renew its video game license with the WWE through the end of 2014. WWE’s contract with Jakks Pacific and THQ will done at the end of this year. Jakks Pacific reportedly has an one year option.
The expectation is that WWE would be looking to the highest bidder as they are already departing with Jakks Pacific for Mattel in the action figure/toy department. It has also said there are issues between Jakks and THQ, as Jakks was against THQ acquiring the UFC license seeing it as competition to the joint license they have with WWE.
THQ filed a lawsuit in response against Jakks Pacific in California Superior Court stating Jakks didn’t have the authority based on their joint licenses to renew with the WWE without their consent. THQ is also attempting to get out of their one year no-compete clause in the pro wrestling genre when it comes to making a wrestling game saying it is not enforceable under California law. Revenue from Smackdown vs. Raw in 2007 made up 25% of the total gross of revenue for THQ. The game was down 24% in sales in 2008.
PWTorch Newsletter has a report that TNA World Champion Kurt Angle is giving the impression he ready to move away from wrestling and enter movies full-time like Dwayne Johnson after his current TNA contract ends in two years.
“I’m kind of caught in the middle right now but I am making the jump into movies. I’m in four films this year,” Angle told filmsinreview.com. “I am 40 years old, and as much as I want to stay with TNA as long as I can, I know I can’t go full time forever. I want to provide for my kids and give them everything they want and give them all the things that I never had and save enough for them to get through college.”
Angle told Filmsinreview.com that he’s been fortunate, as a wrestler, to receive multiple movie roles after the success paved by Dwayne Johnson and WWE’s Films division. Angle says he wouldn’t want to return to WWE. He went onto say, “I knew I had to make a choice. I knew being in the WWE, the money was there, the movies were there with WWE Films, but I wanted to go outside the circle, the realm of WWE, and spring out on my own. When you are with WWE, you are under the WWE umbrella.”
Angle complemented the WWE and Vince McMahon on starting the movie division and he sees potential for break-out stars like John Cena. He doesn’t think he’s doing better films than WWE, but he wants to have personal input in the direction of his roles.
Angle recently completed a low-budget movie “End Game” filmed in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Angle says he was given the role of the “babyface” hero, but he felt limited, so he took the role of the serial killer “heel.”
“It’s not exactly an A film,” Angle said of the movie. “The film is okay. I enjoyed doing it.”