Much like real wrestling, if you want a video game portraying the scripted sport, you really only have one option- the WWE 2K series. The developer of that series, Yuke’s, has been involved with the WWE license for almost as long as there’s been WWE/WWF (the company was renamed in 2002) video games, with their first being WWF Smackdown! all the way back in 2000. Now it seems a developer wants there to be a new wrestling game to rival the WWE 2K series- and that developer? Yuke’s themselves.
In an interview with VGC, Yuke’s Producer and Senior Vice President Hiromi Furuta sat down to talk about wanting to create a new wrestling IP. She thinks the lack of competition in the space has held the product back somewhat. The fact that WWE and 2K have consolidated their license (now releasing only one game a year, where as in years past they would release two, if not more), and the lack of other companies making similar titles makes it harder for experimentation as well as coming up with new ideas year to year. Their solution is to create a new team within Yuke’s to create an IP that will serve as an in-house rival to the 2K series. She says the direction is not set in stone yet, so whatever it ends up being could range from ultra-realistic simulation or something more fantastical.
“We are trying to launch a new wrestling game,” she said. “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.”
This actually isn’t the first time Yuke’s has done something like that. In the PS2 era they launched a wrestling game series called Rumble Roses, an all-female wrestling title that probably wouldn’t quite fly today (you can look up some videos of that to see why if you’re curious). Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what this adds up to. They will still be doing WWE titles, though, and it shouldn’t be too much longer before we get a reveal for WWE 2K20.