2K has recently posted a position opening for an Online Game Designer stationed under Visual Concepts. We all know that Visual Concepts head the development of the WWE 2K series. What we don’t know is what will be new in WWE 2K18. However, given the job description, we can infer a few features coming to what could possibly be the greatest WWE game to date.
What This Means For WWE 2K18
To deduce feasible expectations, we breakdown the job and its description.
The Job Title: Game Designer – Online
First and foremost, the job title itself says a lot and there are two important pieces to consider.
The first half is “game designer.” If you don’t know, designers tend to be the rock stars in the industry. They bridge the gap between art, programming and writing for most dev teams. That is not as easy as it may sound, (having done this in college, I know firsthand) as all three tend to speak their own languages. This is important to us because this means 2K is looking for a fresh set of eyes to take the building blocks from each department to create something. A fresh set of eyes could mean a fresh set of mechanics.
Secondly, “online.” Whatever this open position is meant to create will involve WWE 2K18’s online features. Since it is a design position but not a senior role, it could be simply making sure current online features are up to par. Either way, since 2K is seemingly expanding on their dedicated online talent, we can assume that WWE 2K18 will sport upgraded servers.
New Game Modes For Online
I have reason to believe that 2K is looking past WWE 2K18 and hoping to establish longevity in its online features. In the second paragraph of the overall job description, 2K notes they are looking for someone who will continue to work past WWE 2K18.
“The growing WWE 2K franchise is looking for an Game Designer to join the team and help brainstorm and create the future generations of this Visual Concepts-produced wrestling title.”
Since current online features are lacking longevity, it can be argued that WWE 2K18 will introduce or lay the ground work for online modes that will offer more replayability to the series. Or primarily where online features are concerned. Although we may not see the benefits in force by WWE 2K18’s launch, this role will be pivotal in creating brand new features for online. 2K emphasizes this in the job description itself.
“You will help us build a great online community with diverse and satisfying experiences that keep our users coming back for more. This is a great opportunity to play an exciting role with lots of growth potential.”
More Robust Match Types
Increasing the number of available match types for the base game is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, these new matches do not always make it to the online portion of the game. This new open role could be poised to close that gap. 2K is looking for someone who is:
Experienced in designing and developing game mechanics and systems for online,
Able to find new opportunities for improvements and additions within a game.
The first bullet implies you need to know what you’re doing in addition to knowing it well. Secondly, they ask that the candidate be able to come in and fix things that may not be working. this could mean taking previous erroneous match types and making sure they work online. This could also mean taking new match types from WWE 2K18 and tailoring them for online play.
Completely New Online Structure
There’s a chance 2K is going to introduce an entirely new online structure. My guess is that it will resemble the way the wrestling industry (in terms of WWE) works today.
Understanding of online game communities, engagement, retention and monetization
This statement overall asks that candidates know how to analyze their communities and get them engaged in the game for the long haul. An online platform that divides players into NXT, Smackdown Live, Main Event and RAW based on player ranking, online appearances and other factors would be a solid way to do just that. Of course there are details to iron out but essentially players take control of their respective superstars in a pseudo career mode centered around climbing leaderboards. Add a popularity mechanic and merchandise sales to generate player income used to unlock more moves and gear and you have yourself an establish online career. Drop in title bouts and reward consistent players with timed PPV appearances and you start to create that replayability.
Now this is just my example but since they’re asking for designers, its very possible we could see an online mode like this offered.
Consolidated 2K Sports Online Experience
Last but certainly not least, we could be hit with something out of left field entirely. While we know better servers is a must for WWE 2K18, it is possible that 2K’s sports division is setting up for an overhaul of all its sports online experiences. 2K has specified that they require the candidate to have:
Understanding and appreciation of all sports
Any sports game developer can benefit from that aspect. However, given all the other requirements mentioned, its possible that 2K looks to provide an online experience that combines all of their 2K sports titles. It may seem like a stretch but it is not uncommon for developers to bounce from project to project in a company. A good example of how this all works is EA’s recent restructuring of the Battlefield franchise online community. As long as you’re on current gen, you can pull up stats, leaderboards and other info on all Battlefield tenures from BF4 to BF1 and swap seamlessly between them.
If 2K is really considering this move, we could see a brand new online community across all IPs and platforms. Players could potentially be able to swap between downloaded games from a menu, share stats at the press of a button or stream matches straight to a 2K online community.
There are a lot of options to be inferred but we will have to wait on Visual Concepts for more details. Be sure to stay tuned here on Sports Gamers Online as we keep up with more news on WWE 2K18 and the rest of the 2K sports line up.