THQ Announces New “Next-Gen” WWE Franchise

BretHart.jpg Back when the WWE was actually worth watching — you know, when it was called the WWF, relied less on sleazy, amateurish soap opera bullshit and had all the wrestling greats in their primes like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Razor Ramon, The Undertaker and my all-time favorite Bret “The Hitman” Hart — I was a diehard fan. WrestleMania III and WrestleMania X are two events I’ll simply never forget. But now I just don’t care about wrestling, for the reasons already mentioned, and thusly have come to the point where I just can’t play any of the WWE Smackdown vs. Raw games with any enjoyment.

Thankfully THQ is stepping in to (hopefully) rekindle the interest of nostalgic wrestling fans, like myself, today announcing the creation of a new WWE video game IP titled WWE Legends of WrestleMania. But don’t worry Smackdown vs. Raw fans, your game isn’t going anywhere. Legends of WrestleMania is going to be its own individual franchise in development specifically to “establish new property for next generation systems.” Legends of WrestleMania is in development for PS3 and Xbox 360 and is currently scheduled to debut in March 2009 alongside WrestleMania 25. Absolutely nothing is known about the game at this point, but THQ’s “relive, rewrite or redefine history” press release tagline provides some clues of what to expect. Will definitely be keeping both eyes on this one.

“We have generated significant year-over-year growth in key global territories with WWE-licensed videogames, including tremendous success with the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw franchise,” said Peter Matiss, vice president, global brand management, THQ. “The development capabilities afforded by next generation hardware, combined with our established history and deep understanding of fighting videogames, allow us to leverage the strength of the WWE brand to further extend our leadership in the fighting videogame genre and bring this new property to market.”

“JAKKS Pacific is pleased to introduce a new WWE videogame property to the fighting genre,” said Nelo Lucich, senior vice president of interactive, JAKKS Pacific. “The WWE SmackDown vs. Raw franchise has captured a collective audience of WWE fans, game enthusiasts and casual players, and we are confident that WWE Legends of WrestleMania will be poised for great success.”

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