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THQ creating all-new WWE franchise

FOUR wrestling brands to be unleashed by end of 2012

THQ is to let loose a brand new WWE gaming franchise next year, CVG can reveal.

In total, the title will bring the publisher's WWE brand stable to four - including flagship game Smackdown! Vs. Raw, the more accessible WWE All Stars (pictured) and free-to-play Asia release Smackdown! Vs Raw Online.

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THQ core games boss Danny Bilson told CVG that S!VR Online would not be getting a Western release in 2011 - but that WWE fans in the UK and US would see a brand new game instead.

Although details weren't forthcoming, Bilson did reveal that the title would be "less simmy" than Smackdown! Vs. Raw, and closer in style to All Stars.

"[Smackdown! Vs Raw Online] is for Asia," he said. "I don't think there's any chance of that coming to the US or Europe, not soon anyway. We don't want to confuse Smackdown Vs. Raw! [the brand] with that online free-to-play game.

"That's a big, expensive title, Smackdown Vs. Raw! - we will not do any cannibalisation of it at all. The online game is also designed uniquely for Asian playing habits and it would probably have to be modified creatively to bring it to the West.

"So there's no plan to bring it here - because what we do have a plan for on that brand is what you saw with All Stars. And next year you'll see another new extension there in another way - that's just as exciting as All Stars, but a little different. We're not talking about that yet.

"We're growing that brand basically through an alternate SKU every six months - the other SKUs [All-Stars and the unannounced game] are more friendly, easier and less simmy than Smackdown! Vs Raw."

CVG outed the existence of WWE All Stars earlier this year, after spotting that THQ had filed the game's trademark in the US.

The publisher subsequently announced the game before E3, where it was playable on the Los Angeles show floor. WWE All Stars is due for release on PS3, 360, Wii, PSP and PS2 in the first half of next year.

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