The WWE management and CM Punk are legally butting heads lately over the issue of royalties, leaving poor video game developer 2K Sports stuck in the middle with the WWE 2K15 release date. But does Take Two Interactive really need to delay the game as most reports claim?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, it’s also claimed the WWE is scrubbing CM Punk out of their history, but if that is the case it’s being done on a point-by-point basis since even the WWE website features Phil Brooks’ face while Alberto del Rio is conspicuously missing in some areas. CM Punk was also furious when he and AJ Lee’s wedding photos leaked out on to social media, although if you check out the reports discussing their home life it seems like they’re constantly sharing personal info on Twitter.
Take Two Interactive knows the WWE 2K15 release date of October 28, 2014 is fast approaching and they will need to have the game finished and the gold master ready for production by the end of September. The WWE 2K14 sales figures made the game series one of their bread winners, although the release last year of the Xbox One and PS4 apparently hampered sales of practically every major franchise. Regardless, it’s highly doubtful the video game developer will delay a game that is an annual release. CM Punk’s lawsuit could be sitting in courts for months, which would push the WWE 2K15 release date past the critical Christmas season purchasing frenzy.
There’s actually multiple ways to prevent the WWE 2K15 release date from being delayed due to CM Punk’s lawsuit. As The Inquisitr already noted, “2K Sports could always settle with CM Punk independently…. Both Ultimate Warrior and Sting signed with 2K Sports to be used in the game the last few years before they signed with WWE. So this is not out of the norm for Take Two Interactive to work independently with former wrestlers.” But there’s three other ways to handle the situation.
One method is to simply use if-then statements in the game code to scrub CM Punk from the game. The hardest part would be menu screens and any art assets where he’s part of a group photo, but otherwise the developers have a good solid month to complete this task before their gold master needs to be done. This would essentially leave the CM Punk character as unused content in the video game, which is actually not that unusual in the game industry. For example, this is how the so-called “hot coffee mod” in the Grand Theft Auto series came to light in the PC version since it was unused content that was supposed to be disabled and inaccessible by gamers. If Phil Brooks decides to give 2K Sports the all clear, they can simply re-enable the CM Punk character through an online update.
This leads to the second approach. 2k Sports could program the game so it requires a day-one update upon installation. This would allow 2K to keep the CM Punk character enabled in the gold master but if his lawyers complain they simply switch the character off with an update. Of course, this second approach leaves Take Two Interactive legally open so it’s more likely they’d choose to be safe than sorry.
Lastly, the final way to keep the WWE 2K15 release date intact is to lock the CM Punk character and, once Phil Brooks and the WWE reach an agreement with the developers, release a purchasable CM Punk DLC for the game. This final option would probably upset some fans, but it would allow them to keep the CM Punk character legally and financially separate from the rest of the video game.
[Image via Deviant Art]