– A few weeks ago it was reported that Fighting Spirit, a magazine based out of the U.K. that covers professional wrestling as well as MMA, had revealed portions of the private memo World Wrestling Entertainment/THQ sent out to members of the video gaming press covering the upcoming SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 video game. WWE wants to control how SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is portrayed in previews when displaying screenshots of the game. What with WWE’s new toned-down, PG-rated product, the video gaming press is forbidden from showing screenshots of any of the Superstars bleeding or using weapons. However, the really interesting part coming out of the memo is that WWE/THQ said the video gaming press is forbidden from showing screenshots of digital Triple H “in a defenseless or vulnerable position.” There was said to be some major heat between WWE and Fighting Spirit as information from the memo wasn’t supposed to be publicly revealed.
Fellow U.K. wrestling magazine Power Slam corroborated the situation in a recent issue, most notably, the portion of the memo concerning Triple H not being shown in a weak or vulnerable position. Power Slam reveals that WWE/THQ did not ask anyone else on the WWE roster be ‘protected’ in this manner, only Triple H.
Below are the two magazines’ respective articles on the situation:
Digital Politics (Fighting Spirit Issue No. 32)
WWE videogame feels the Triple H Effect
We all know how much Triple H loves squashing five guys on Raw or killing Kenny Dykstra for no good reason on SmackDown. The extent to which he’s protected and booked to look indestructible on WWE television is an old and very sad story. So maybe it was inevitable that the same mentality would spill over into WWE’s video games, too.
With SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 out in November, early game code has been sent out to videogames press. And one of our button-bashing buddies got in touch to inform us of some new directives that game journalists must abide by with this year’s version of the game.
“Got WWE preview code yesterday and, as always, screenshots have to be approved if we decide to take our own. So far, so usual. But here’s the interesting part: there are further stipulations that highlight which screenshots will immediately be given the thumbs down.
These include screenshots of ‘superstars’ (not allowed to refer to them as wrestlers) bleeding, weapons being used… and we’re not allowed to take ANY screenshots of Triple H losing or ANY screenshots of Triple H in a ‘defenceless or vulnerable position’. Oh, and the game still sucks.”
That’s right, Hunter is so paranoid about protecting his spot that he’s holding down people in videogames! What a dork. Fortunately, his very own theme song tells us that, “It’s all about the game, and how you play it / It’s all about control and if you can take it.” Well, we have taken control and we’ve made sure Triple H is both defenceless and vulnerable in the screenshot to the left. Sorry Paul!
Preferential Treatment (Power Slam Issue 171/October 2008)
THQ, publisher of the forthcoming SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 video game, has helpfully distributed a WWE-approved list of guidelines which all magazines are expected to adhere to concerning screenshots used in conjunction with reviews of the game.
Attempting to minimise the violence in the game, WWE and THQ have decreed: “Do NOT show blood.” And, “If using weapons, do not show anything with significant force (or intent to have).” These directives are in accordance with WWE’s new toned-down, PG-rated product.
However, we’re not sure how WWE and THQ can justify the clause pertaining to Triple H in the SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 screenshot guidelines. It states: “Refrain from showing Triple H in a losing/defeated/defenceless position.” THQ does not ask that anyone else on the WWE roster be ‘protected’ in this manner: magazines are only forbidden from printing screenshots of HHH “in a losing/defeated/defenceless position.”