WWE (formerly known as WWF/WWE SmackDown! from 2000 to 2004 and WWE SmackDown vs. Raw from 2004 to 2011) is a series of professional wrestling video games developed by Yuke's and Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. The games in the series are based on the professional wrestling promotion WWE and feature professional wrestling match types, storylines and playable characters based on WWE programming. Originally named after WWE's SmackDown television program, the series was eventually renamed to add WWE's other major television show Raw to the title. In 2011, THQ announced that the series would now be known as simply WWE starting with the release of WWE '12.
The series began with the release of WWF SmackDown! in 2000 and originally remained exclusive to Sony's PlayStation consoles. After the release of 2004's WWE SmackDown vs. RAW, the series expanded with yearly releases for various other consoles including the PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and Wii, as well as mobile devices. Yuke's had also released the games in Japan under the name Exciting Pro Wrestling. However, after SmackDown vs. Raw 2006, THQ took over as the Japanese publisher and the Japanese releases adopted the western name.
Reception of the series has been positive overall, and WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 was rated 31st and 28th (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, respectively) in IGN's "Top 100 Games" list. It is among the best-selling video game franchises, with 47 million copies shipped as of 2009.
After THQ's dissolution in January 2013, it was reported that the publishing rights for the WWE video game series were acquired by Take-Two Interactive. Take-Two confirmed the acquisition in February, saying that it would also retain the services of Yuke's and the THQ staff that worked on the WWE series.