THQ is cool with the WWE, but it's not very chummy with JAKKS Pacific, its longtime partner in the WWE licensing venture. The wounds also run deep between JAKKS and the WWE. When asked for comment on the license renewal and further details regarding the three-way deal, a THQ representative told Joystiq that the publisher plans to renew its contract with the WWE, and then added, "Beyond that, I cannot comment."
The business, politics and legal issues are certainly complicated. We spoke with Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter who laid out multiple scenarios, but in the end he believes the most likely outcome is that the joint venture between THQ and JAKKS will be terminated. If JAKKS enforces its (believed to be one-year) non-compete clause, then no WWE games can be produced. Neither side would benefit from that, however.
Pachter suggests that the WWE's renewal deadline was extended to give THQ and JAKKS time to settle their issues. What it sounds like to us: THQ and WWE want to move forward as a couple, and the previous arrangement, featuring JAKKS as the third wheel, has worn out its welcome. Check out Pachter's complete analysis after the break.