The Lies And Lawsuits That Changed Wrestling Video Games Forever
In the immediate aftermath of the news about the THQ/Jakks partnership, Acclaim was clearly the big loser. After a decade of putting out the big brand-name wrestling video games in the west, they found themselves without a license. To make matters worse, the way that the timelines of the various development cycles and contracts played out made it so that the first THQ/Jakks WWF title, “WrestleMania 2000,” would come out just three and a half months after the release of Acclaim’s second 3D WWF title, “Attitude.” In the meantime, though, if they wanted to keep the lucrative wrestling section of their business going, they needed a new license. At that point, there was only one option left: Paul Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling.
A report in the March 1, 1999 issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter says that, after EA signed WCW but before the THQ/Jakks deal, ECW had signed with THQ, resulting in THQ auctioning off the ECW rights after the Jakks deal made the ECW deal untenable. (A contemporaneous post on the alt.games.wrestling Usenet discussion group suggests that Dave Scherer, then of 1wrestling.com, corroborated Meltzer’s reporting.) Speaking to Wrestling Inc., then-THQ CEO Brian Farrell recalled that there were definitely talks with ECW, but he couldn’t remember how far they went, with a separate source close to the negotiations claiming that THQ secured an option on the license from a separate deal ECW made with Kodiak Interactive Software.
A 2004 federal court ruling in a lawsuit Acclaim filed against members of ECW management, though, citing Acclaim’s complaint, says nothing of an auction or anything involving THQ or Kodiak, just that Acclaim approached ECW in January 1999. (A source close to the negotiations asserted to Wrestling Inc. that Acclaim didn’t mention a bidding process in the lawsuit because the chain of events would not have reflected well on them in court.)
Comments are closed.