WWE has almost completely shunned Hulk Hogan in the wake of tape transcripts being released where Hogan uses racial slurs and describes himself as racist. Hogan has apologized, but it appears that and the support of Dennis Rodman won’t be enough to fix his career; he’s even being removed from video games.
According to Polygon, 2K has adjusted WWE 2K16 to reflect WWE’s decisions, which is not uncommon. If an athlete isn’t under contract to a particular company or promotion, as a general rule licensed products aren’t allowed to use those athletes; 2K may have lost the rights to Hogan’s image and character when WWE terminated his contract.
What is uncommon is that 2K appears to be considering whether to remove Hogan from previously released games: When asked about it, a 2K spokesman said it was a “fair question.” It’s an awkward question, considering WWE 2K15 had a $100 Hulkamania edition that, as of this writing, is still for sale on Amazon. In addition to the Hulk Hogan collectibles it ships with, you also get both the face and the heel versions of Hogan as exclusive playable characters. The DLC versions of this content have been removed; you’re not even allowed to download it if you already bought it.
It may be awkward going forward as well. One of the selling points of the WWE 2K franchise is the ability to replay past matches between superstars and try to change WWE history. Hogan was the man Vince McMahon chose to launch WWE (then WWF) onto a national stage, so most classic matches have Hogan at the center. Maybe they’ll replace him with Bob Backlund?
(Via VG 24/7)