In a recent report by the New York Daily News it had been suggested that New York based publishers, Take 2 Interactive, were in the running to purchase the publishing rights for Acclaim’s estranged Max Power styled street racing title, Juiced. According to Gamespot, Take 2 officials have subsequently confirmed this bid, stating that Take 2 would pay $8.125 million for the publishing rights; with a possible further $1.875 million to pay in royalties.
Of course, it’s now too late for Acclaim to feel any direct benefit from Juiced: because the long-standing publishers are officially bankrupt. The UK developed title, created by the Juice team for PC, PS2 and Xbox, certainly has the potential to sell well; but any money put forward by Take 2 will imediately be swallowed up by Acclaim’s two major creditors. Fund4Games, who are currently in control of the rights, will receive $4.5 million, and GMAC Capital will take any other profits – still being owed a hefty $23 million in total.
The publishing agreement has yet to be finalised, but it would be a surprise if someone doesn’t snatch up this title. Despite the plethora of high quality racing games being released in the next few months, Juiced remains a contender: even alongside the likes of Burnout 3 and Outrun 2. One thing’s for certain, most big publishers (including Take 2) would love to negatively impact the success of EA’s next Need For Speed Underground title, which will be in direct competition with Juiced given the similar territories they occupy.
There’s still another week for other bidders to come forward, and the chances are EA will be somewhere in the queue: contemplating whether or not to buy the publishing rights simply in order to ensure that the game doesn’t get published. If Take 2’s bid is successful, then we would likely see Juiced hitting shelves before or around the same time as NFSU 2 – towards the end of November.
As soon as anything becomes official, we’ll update you.