Update on Claims That Hulk Hogan Didn't Sign a WWE 2K14 Deal
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 08.28.2013
Eric Bischoff's tweets aren't quite accurate...
- As you may recall, Eric Bischoff took aim at reports yesterday that Hulk Hogan had signed a deal with 2K Sports for WWE 2K14 and that there was heat on Hogan in TNA over it. As a refresher, Bischoff posted the following:
Interesting to read the "choir of idiots" suggesting that Hulk did a deal with 2K Sports. Illustrates just how ignorant these "experts" are
And how these "experts" are attempting to frame a narrative to sell thier b.s.
There is no Hulk Hogan/2K Sports deal. WWE is simply utilizing tradmarks/assets they currently own in a repackaged video game. Nothing new.
But thats not what the parasites and morons who run dirt sites want you to know.
There is a problem with Bischoff's claims, and that is that WWE doesn't own Hulk Hogan's trademarks. If they did than they could legally prohibit Hogan from appearing in TNA under that name. As PWInsider reports, Hulk Hogan owned the rights and during his divorce form Linda Hogan he transferred those rights to Hogan Holdings LLC. The trademarks held by Hogan Holdings specifically includes "Prerecorded videotapes and DVD's featuring wrestling; sunglasses; computer game cassettes and cartridges and video game cartridges."
The site also noted that there are two currently-registered trademarks for the term Hulk Hogan, both controlled by Hogan Holdings and WWE doesn't own or have rights to either of them. In addition, Bischoff misrepresented the video game as a "repackaged" game, as it will (as one might expect) continue elements of the THQ WWE games and use that game engine, but the game will be a new one.
Finally, while Bischoff's statements suggest that Hogan didn't sign off on the game, all talent involved receive royalties based on their likeness and involvement in the game. 2K Sports would need to get his rights separate from WWE, because again they do not own said rights. This means that either Hogan or someone representing Hogan had to have signed off on the deal (unless WWE wanted to be in a position to be sued) and 2K Sports has even made public statements suggesting that Hogan signed off, such as this quote from WWE 2K14 creative director Cory Ledesma from a recent interview:
"The first hurdle we had was Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan's not currently with the WWE. We knew that if we couldn't get Hulk Hogan, we weren't going to have a '30 Years of Wrestlemania' mode, it's just not possible. Hogan was involved in so many matches and so many moments, that he was critical to the game. We knew once we could overcome that hurdle, and Hulk Hogan was able to get into the game, we knew that it was going to be kind of downhill from there and we'd be able to secure a lot of the talent that might not be with WWE anymore."
Bottom line: either Hogan or someone with his authorization signed off on the deal, or WWE and 2K Sports are setting themselves up for a massive lawsuit.
The site did also note that they have no information and have made no reports regarding Hogan having heat within TNA over the deal.