Developer Yuke's has dominated the wrestling game genre for years. Their WWE titles have been the only major wrestling games on the last two generations of Xbox console. Sure, there have been token appearances from titles like TNA iMPACT!, Lucha Libre AAA: Heroes Del Ring, Hulk Hogan's Main Event, and Fire Pro Wrestling, but none of them have been seen as true competitors. The problem is that it's leading to stagnation within the genre, and in an interview with VGC, the developer has revealed they're taking an unusual step to try and refresh their WWE 2K games — they're creating a new wrestling IP to rival their well-known franchise.
The rival wrestling IP will be created by a separate development team within Yuke's. The game is currently at a "very early" stage and the team is brainstorming ideas for interesting game systems. They're not entirely certain of their target audience, therefore the game could be very realistic or it could be a fantasy title. Whatever direction it takes, the main aim of the game is to create competition for the WWE 2K games to "reinvigorate" the development staff.
Their last title, WWE 2K19, was considered to be an improvement over recent instalments in the franchise, but the developer still isn't happy with the franchise's progress. According to Yuke's' senior vice president Hiromi Furuta, there are two reasons for this. The first is that their relationship with publisher 2K Sports is seemingly hampering what the team is able to achieve with the games. The second is the lack of competition that is now causing development staff to be complacent. Furuta said:
I think having no competitor isn’t healthy at all. When we had competitors in the wrestling space, we were determined not to lose and that was a great motivator for creating something great..As Futura hinted, the team will still be continuing onwards with their WWE 2K games. In fact, parent company Take-Two confirmed WWE 2K20 is due to release this year. However, if the team wants to find a way of developing wrestling games in the way that they want without any hindrance, this will need to be through their own IP:
But right now, looking at the market demands, players are expecting something new every time we release a game and we feel like we haven’t achieved what we’ve really wanted to do. For example, in many cases we’re still using old assets and we’re not able to do some things in the way that we want to
Of course, we will retain the WWE team, but we are also aware that our creators are beginning to lose sight of their passion and confidence and becoming focused only on completing assigned tasks. That’s not the direction Yuke’s wants to go in. So, in order to compensate, we’re going to start a new wrestling project.As soon as we hear more about their new wrestling IP, we'll be sure to let you know.
We've got the full list of WWE 2K19 achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.
This game was featured in our Best Xbox One Sports Games Available in 2019 article. Why not check it out to see what else made the cut?