In a shocking yet entirely appropriate turn of events, the rights to publish Spike’s Fire Pro Wrestling Returns for Playstation 2 in the United States and Europe have been acquired by Agetec. This news comes from a post made on the unofficial Fire Pro Club message board by Mark Johnson, the producer of such classic Agetec localizations as Rising Zan. He reports that SCEA has already approved the release of this nearly two-year-old, sprite-based, Japanese pro wrestling game. Wrap your head around that. Though two modern installments of the Fire Pro series have been localized for English markets on the Gameboy Advance, it will be particularly interesting to see how this (relatively) higher profile translation is handled. In his post, Mark Johnson specifically notes that he is in search of knowledgeable fans within the Fire Pro community to assist in the localization.
Hopefully, for Agetec’s sake, he also has suitable legal advice to help skirt the many potential copyright violations that could result. Fire Pro’s facsimiles of real wrestling characters have drawn the attention of their owners in the past. As illustrated by Zuffa‘s previous legal action against BAM!, publishers of Fire Pro on Gameboy Advance, this series is obscure enough to bomb at retail in America but not necessarily obscure enough to fly under the radar.