Judge dismisses THQ-WWE racketeering suit

Litigation from 2004 tossed out by judge, but legal battles not over yet for wrestling organization and its gaming licensee.

One more chapter of the ongoing legal dispute between World Wrestling Entertainment and its game and toy licensees, THQ and Jakks Pacific, is in the books. Earlier this month, a United States District Court judge dismissed a WWE lawsuit brought against the game makers and multiple other parties.

Originally filed in 2004, the suit claimed that Jakks Pacific had bribed WWE agents in charge of external licensing to circumvent a competitive bidding process and secure rights at below-market values. The wrestling group alleged that Jakks paid the agents to discourage other companies from even bidding for a license to make toys or games.

The WWE suit accused the associated parties of numerous wrongdoings, including violation of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). As a result, the WWE had been asking for the court to nullify its licensing agreements with THQ, Jakks, and their joint venture, as well as to pay for damages incurred as a result of fraud.

On December 3, the judge in the case granted the defendants' various motions to dismiss the suit. While no explanation was given for the dismissal, the judge did indicate that a full opinion on the matter "will be issued in short order." In THQ's motion, the publisher asked the judge to dismiss the RICO claim with prejudice and to dismiss the remainder of the claims because they weren't federal issues.

While THQ came out on top in this bit of WWE-related litigation, the wrestling organization's attorneys aren't tapping out just yet. Last October the company filed another suit seeking to void its licensing agreement with THQ, this one centering around the publisher's sublicensing of Asian distribution rights to SmackDown franchise developer Yuke's.

As of press time, a THQ representative had not returned a request for comment.

Written By

Want the latest news about WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008?

WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008

WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008

Discussion

103 comments
MadGamer132
MadGamer132

can we all just get along. WWE and THQ made so much money but suing them maybe chicken you know what.

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

oh well, I don't play wrestling games anyway, or watch the stuff

SLjimbolian
SLjimbolian

It's funny how UFC is doing better than WWE these days (in my opinion), yet they haven't come out with a new UFC in a long time.

Evilbunz
Evilbunz

ufc > boxing > wwe. None work in real life but w/e, i have been taking martial arts since seven but wwe crap is funny. Used to be good in the old days with the early bret heart and those guys no it sucks. GSP VS HUGHES.... GSP GONNA WIN AND BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF SERRA. THATS MY PREDICTION.

GtheMVP
GtheMVP

btw, the Smackdown series never matched (graphics and entrances aside) the excellent SD 2 coop season mode. Why they keep force feeding us this linear garbage is beyond me. The madden curse struck this franchise years ago! *Mankind and the Rock backstage, I wonder what they're talking about?*

GtheMVP
GtheMVP

With so much excellent MMA around these days, who cares about WWE anymore? Without the Rock and Stone cold, it's just a bunch bad acting stuntmen. Tripple H, Sean Micheals are the only good things about wrasslin these days, maybe even Y2J. TNA is pure garbage too. Even with Stone Cold and the Rock back, I'd still rather watch the UFC, or WEC anyday, though I'd probably tune in for their segments :)

ChickenHounk911
ChickenHounk911

the BEST wrestiling game was "WCW vs. NWO" on the Nintendo 64. Revenge was pretty cool too. The game was easy, the controls were simple and it wa a lot of fun! After that, it all went downhill, just like wrestling in general.

nintendorocks
nintendorocks

TNA is trash. They have a great roster and have no idea how to utilize it. They push all these washed up wrestlers, (Sting, Jeff Jarret, Kevin Nash), and forget all about the great young wrestlers they have, (Motor City Machineguns, Petey Williams, Christopher Daniels). Hell, they just "fired" Daniels.

snarple_basic
snarple_basic

Im not sure why people dont like the smackdown games. In my opinion AKI's Wrestlemania 2000 engine (think its the same as the No Mercy engine) was just too slow. Now for someone bringing up the old snes Raw game, are you kidding??? Those old snes games were done by acclaim and were more of a mess then anything. I remember torturing myself to play those just because I like WWF. In my opinion the smackdown games have really took the pace of wrestling and made it feel right. I did like Wrestlemania 2000 but it was a little flawed on the pacing side.

MARIOJAY450
MARIOJAY450

what? those contracts arent fake it's "licensing entertainment"

SLjimbolian
SLjimbolian

I do; I'd love to see another company pick up the WWE videogame rights. THQ have been giving Smackdown the "Madden" treatment. (Different year, same game).

Del_The_Prophet
Del_The_Prophet

GtaGangstarrz, I couldn't agree with you more...The WWE games have been a mess ever since Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth! A true lack of innovation. No Mercy on the N64 is STILL the greatest wrestling game ever made. Hell, No Mercy and Mario Kart are the only reasons I still have a Nintendo 64. Now THAT's quality. A game so good, you keep an old system plugged in for it.

GtaGangstarrz
GtaGangstarrz

Man i would love to see another company clean up THQ's mess of a game that they drop yearly. Hopefully AKI get's it back cause WWF No Mercy had the best wrestling Game engine i've ever seen then WWF RAW Snes. The little things like customization, and being able to walk up the steel steps made this game beautiful.

teknojunkie666
teknojunkie666

if what your saying metaljeff it true and they want to give it to EA, just think what was EA's last wrestling game Def Jam: FFNY who made that the gods of the wrestling games AKI and im all for some of that!!!

metaljeff
metaljeff

The only reason WWE is filing a lawsuit is so they can sell the rights to EA...Vince is all about the money.....THQ needs to step it up, but EA would RUIN this game!!

Brainy142
Brainy142

o man wwe vs. smackdown 2007 rocked it would suck to not see how this franchise goes

ragnarok_zero66
ragnarok_zero66

You all are fighting over wrestling brands? And here I thought gamespot was about videogames...

kiddsilk69
kiddsilk69

Damn was hoping THQ would lose the rights and AKI could maybe pick it up to release some good WWE games like the N64 games.

V-Nine
V-Nine

I thought THQ has been doing well with this IP. But given the way the WWE acts concerning business, they must have found a way to screwjob somebody to get it self more moola...now if only they could ditch THQ whom they feel is cutting into their (own?) profits.

IceSpitfire
IceSpitfire

Yes its scripted by the booing and cheering....WOW, thats definitely not fake, and so arent the signs. They create a script sometimes on how the fans react to certain wrestlers. But yea its gone way done, it was much more entertaining, like with undertaker and mankind, crazy stuff back then...oh well

pudgeman007
pudgeman007

english ... that means the devolpers can put these games on the wii or the ps3

pudgeman007
pudgeman007

Wow ... did u know ms is only the publisher for gears of war 3 and mass effect

hegetshiskeys
hegetshiskeys

Wrestling isn't and never will be what it used to be...

NA3D
NA3D

So is the WWE saying that THQ got other developers to not want to make a WWE game? Because I am pretty sure most game developers would have no interests in WWE no matter what. They should feel lucky that THQ even bothered with WWE, and put forth the effort of making a half decent game unlike what EA would have done for them. Any developer that would put more effort into making any kind of games would say no to WWE. With that I am trying to say THQ puts a good amount into their games, not as much as a FEW other places, but more than most, and those few other places would refuse to make a WWE game in the first place unless they are paying up front in the mid 7 figure range, plus bonuses for success in sales. WWE needs to just shut it and be happy with the deal they got. I am guessing they realized they could make more money off of EA. They realized the cost of making games with them is minimal since they put nothing into the game to start with, and they know how to advertise and get people to think the game is better than it is.

fenrir26
fenrir26

"Wow, people on GameSpot know NOTHING about wrestling. Did I really read that someone thought that they give the fans the signs? And that WWE actually plays cheers and boos through the stadium sound system? AND that TNA is actually worth worthing? Ok, one more, AND that all the matches outcomes are made at the beginning of the "season"? Come on, if your gonna make claims, at least know SOMETHING about wrestling. " Wow someone needs to look into wrestling more before commenting AND learn that things like the WWE and TNA are scripted and planned out AND know that real wrestling is not what you are watching on that TV of yours AND that OMG none of it is real. Wrestling is really nothing more than an evening soap opera AND hasn't been real or near real and improv since the Stampede wrestling days. Besides this isn't about whether wraslin is real or scripted its about THQ and bad business practices.

TheBuck27
TheBuck27

"I think you have it the other way around... or you simply havent watched TNA lately. The last time TNA was actually GOOD and worth watching was when it had a ring with 4 sides, not 6, and Vince Russo had nothing to do with the company." Actually, Vince Russo WAS in the company at that point. He had creative control in TNA from 2002 to 2004. By the time he left, they had the 6-sided ring. He then returned about 6 months AFTER TNA's quality went south, following their great PPV year in 2005. But I will agree, TNA blows chunks now. But it's because of Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantell. Vince Russo is just a scapegoat. As for things relevant to this news item, well Smackdown hasn't been very good since SvR '06. The Madden effect finally kicked in. Plus, the superlative Fire Pro Wrestling Returns just came out (Damn you Gamespot for only giving it a 7.0), so I don't really care too much what WWE and THQ do at this point.

7e5
7e5

everyone knows the best games from wwe were No Mercy and Smackdown 2, that PS1 version ohyea. I agree make a coy of No mercy but include all these other matches and you will have us all satisfied. TNA rules, WWE is boring now and i wonder what the TNA game is gonna be like.

345669
345669

Let It GO Dudes. .

Psychotix666
Psychotix666

@Shtinky I think you have it the other way around... or you simply havent watched TNA lately. The last time TNA was actually GOOD and worth watching was when it had a ring with 4 sides, not 6, and Vince Russo had nothing to do with the company. ;)

Bgrngod
Bgrngod

Eh what? Men in tights? Ciya later.

bigdc
bigdc

The thing about the fans with signs is true Ive been to a few house shows and ive seen some of the same guys close to ring side with very clever signs. also it seems that the wrestlers know and interact with these sign holders. And Im also sure that major story line outcomes are decided months in advance (common sense). as of 2003 no wrestlers in wwe are allowed to use there own dialog. its all scripted (www.wrestlezone.com). sorry guys its that bad.

gmagnus
gmagnus

"Wow, people on GameSpot know NOTHING about wrestling. " You say that like it's a bad thing.

Big_Evil666
Big_Evil666

As long as it doesn't affect the games from coming out, i don't really give a crap

nintendorocks
nintendorocks

Wow, people on GameSpot know NOTHING about wrestling. Did I really read that someone thought that they give the fans the signs? And that WWE actually plays cheers and boos through the stadium sound system? AND that TNA is actually worth worthing? Ok, one more, AND that all the matches outcomes are made at the beginning of the "season"? Come on, if your gonna make claims, at least know SOMETHING about wrestling.

DaLegendKilla92
DaLegendKilla92

The last good game they came out with was Smackdown 4. Hopefully WWE can get away faster from THQ than it takes to get off the ground in SVR2007. *One...Two...Eighty* Smackdown games get worse very year and I can go on forever about how they have fallen over the years. Just make a No Mercy copy and please the few fans from 1997-2001 you still got left!

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

"internationaal @atlessky "They look like acting in the ring rather then wrestling." WWE has always been about acting. The outcome of every fight is planned at the start of the season. Even the audience is sort of fake (sure, everybody somehow takes the same-size coloured paper with them from home???). It's just that millions of americans don't see it or don't want to see it. I mean, just watching because you find it entertaining is one thing, but the fanaticism displayed by some fans is just ridiculous..." The crowd fake? are you retarded? seriouslly. I highly doubt Vince McMahon would hire a bunch of fans just to stand in the crowd to hold a sign. And most of the signs that you see..are all or near the same size...Why? Because nobody is going to buy a really really big peice of posterboard paper just to write a name on it, only to get it taken away and ripped up by a drunk pissed off fan who can see over their sign...not to mention, arena security usually takes signs away due to vulgar and improper sayings.. There is also no season when it comes to the WWE. Because they never EVER take a break. they are on TV non stop through out the year, along with doing their overseas tours.. They don't take any breaks and come back to camp.

Psychotix666
Psychotix666

Vorknykx Im well aware WM2000 and No Mercy were DEVELOPED by AKI. But both games were still published by THQ. Reading the comments on here it seems as if many people on here forgot that THQ still published those 2 games.

clawboy
clawboy

Both sides are getting filthy rich off each other. Just work it out.

shadimoscouplos
shadimoscouplos

So does this mean THQ is done making WWE games? Please PM me on that

Vorknykx
Vorknykx

Psychotix666 Wrestlemania 2000 and No Mercy on the N64 were done by AKI, which I think made the better games.

NA3D
NA3D

Yup, they all suck, you are right zildet.