Wrestling industry publication Wrestling Observer reports that CM Punk’s legal team has sent a letter to the WWE, regarding the use of his likeness in the game.
CM Punk, real name Phil Brooks, had a falling out with the company early this year, and did not return when his contract expired. While the two parties have mostly kept quiet, Punk has made some statements the WWE has allegedly found offensive enough that they have been considering suing Punk over breach of contract.
While that lawsuit has not yet materialized, one apparent consequence of that was WWE withholding Punk’s royalties forWWE 2K15. If this is true, then it would be the reason Punk’s lawyers sent the 22 page letter.
2K Sports, Yuke’s and Visual Concepts started work on WWE 2K15 before these issues even came up. 2K Sports may have planned for CM Punk to take a major role in the 2K Showcase Mode from the start.
However, there is another factor in this issue, and that is theWWE 2K payouts to wrestlers. Just last April, Mick Foley explained that he would not be renewing his WWE Legends contract over low royalty payments from figures and videogames. He did know about THQ’s dissolution, and how it affected his royalties. Still, he was disappointed enough that he chose to opt out.
Unlike Foley, CM Punk has already been added into the game, so this is a situation 2K Sports and the WWE will have to deal with. The most positive outcome for fans would be for the three parties to settle amicably and immediately, so that it would not delay release.