Friction Between WWE and Major Partner Company

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The delays and secrecy concerning the release of WWE 2K18 for Nintendo Switch has led to some friction between WWE and 2K Sports. At this point, the game is scheduled to hit store shelves this Tuesday, although no official release date has been publicly confirmed yet. As we've reported previously, the plan all along was to stagger the release in hopes that fans with multiple consoles wouldn't want to wait and would buy the PS4 or Xbox One version, only to then buy the game again shortly thereafter on Switch, so they could play it on the go. With Nintendo Switch doubling as a home console as well, there would be little reason to buy two versions of the game had they all been made available at the same time.

WWE was hoping the game would at least be out in time for the big shopping week centered around Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The WWE video game is typically offered at a steep discount on Black Friday each year and 2K Sports wanted to wait until after the sale pricing to release the Switch version to maximize the revenue of the new release. This led to some tension because WWE's royalties on the game sales are calculated on the suggested retail price of the title, not the wholesale cost. Special arrangements are made with the major retailers to lower the wholesale to allow for the heavy discounting on Black Friday, but WWE's cut is not affected.

So from WWE's point of view, there was no benefit to them for the newest version of the game to be held back until after the discounting window was over and a major sales opportunity was missed. The Switch game has already been manufactured and some stores have received their shipments, but have been told to wait until the weekend discounting is over. With live event revenue down, WWE's revenue from the video game and other merchandising opportunities has become more important than ever. WWE being upset is very understandable considering their newest gaming release was purposely being held back from the busiest shopping days of the year.

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