SpongeBob SquarePants, please don't leave!
That's probably somewhat representative of what THQ
Nickelodeon's characters are a valuable bunch. In fact, the aforementioned anthropomorphic sponge has been very good to THQ. Ol' Bob has brought his salty sea magic to the likes of Sony's
You can see what I mean. Whether it be Jimmy Neutron or Fairly OddParents, this license is valuable, as it means a reasonably steady stream of sales for whichever company eventually lands the rights. What complicates the process now is Sumner Redstone's recent action with Midway Games
I think retention of the license is a paramount goal for the company at this point, but the publisher won't be seeing the business version of the Reaper anytime soon if it does lose the negotiations. It holds other valuable licenses, such as the one devoted to World Wrestling Entertainment titles. Still, the Nick license offers a nice advantage over powerhouses Activision
Too bad there isn't a Saturday Night Live-type sketch program devoted exclusively to market matters. I can imagine the skit: SpongeBob dressed as a tough, Sopranos-like guy, driving a hard bargain with all the potential licensees, all the goofiness no longer apparent in Bikini Bottom's most beloved pineapple-dwelling denizen. That's really what SpongeBob is all about -- he represents nothing less than serious business.
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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned.