Long time WWE games developer, Yuke’s, has spoken about their discontent with the current WWE 2K franchise. Using a “win-win” mentality, Yuke’s plans to do something about the lack of innovation moving forward.
Competition Coming for WWE 2K
WWE 2K developer, Yuke’s, recently revealed an ongoing development project. The studio hopes it will spark some internal competition that will inspire the WWE 2K team to innovate their current franchise. Apparently, this isn’t a recent mindset. In an interview with Video Games Chronicle, Yuke’s Senior VP, Hiromi Furuta, admits to believing a lack of competition has stifled innovation and ambitious pursuit. The company still feels there is much to be done despite the success of WWE 2K19.
In an effort to fix the issue, Yuke’s has put together another team to develop a rival wrestling series. The hope is that the two studios will compete with both putting out more ambitious games of better quality. Yuke’s clarifies that it does not intend to drop the WWE IP or the WWE 2K team. They want to curb the attitude of “just get it done,” and refocus their entire team towards passionate and confident development.
Yuke’s as a whole has about 20 years of experience developing wrestling titles. In addition, they also owned more than half of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Needless to say, they know a thing or two about wrestling and wrestling games.
Surprisingly, Furuta responded candidly during the interview placing part of the blame on the series’ publishing company and the US-based studio, Visual Concepts. Futura describes wanting to better their relationship with 2K, but notes those things do and will take time. The interview also sheds light on the practice of using old assets and being hindered from doing things they the way they want to.
The secret project is in the early stages of development. Not many details, other than it’s a wrestling game, have been revealed. According to Furuta, it will not follow a predefined formula. Additionally, the studio plans on avoiding unnecessary trends or cash grabbing designs. Futura also comments on not adapting their ALiS Zero technology for WWE 2K. In short, the technology would months off the time needed to create new animations for the game. There’s a big chance this tech will end up in their new project once it’s officially announced.
Any avid WWE 2K player will let you know parts of the game are stale. No game has been quite as entertaining as WWF No Mercy. Admittedly, all of that can change with this new project. If Yuke’s looks outside the WWE for wrestling content, we could see rival games from various promotions. This game could end up being something like Pro Wrestling 2020 (for example), where it features the best of indie promotions and WWE alternatives.
New Japan Pro Wrestling allowed their talent to appear in Fire Pro Wrestling World. Given their history and NJPW’s aggressive push into the western territories, we could very well get a simulation style NJPW video game. Again, nothing is set in stone regarding the project. It could be an arcade style game with very little realism.
Nonetheless, it’s refreshing to see a studio act with transparency and reveal how they plan to address their future in a way that benefits both players and staff. It’s exciting news; the concept of AAA titles for promotions like Impact Wrestling, AEW, or even Ring of Honor seems very appealing. For now, we will just have to wait and see.
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