It’s no secret that I’ve been disillusioned with WWE’s wrasslin’ product as of late, which has been a stale combination of predictable storytelling, too many matches ending with a surprise roll-up pin for the win, and Vinny Mac stealing the Twitch accounts of his employees. I mean independent contractors, yes that. Outside of the Roman Reigns and Jey Uso feud proving to be the only bit of ring-based drama worth watching, I genuinely don’t care for the WWE like I used to. Although I do wish Bray Wyatt’s Fiend persona was used better.
And the games haven’t been much better either.
The wounds of WWE 2K20 are still fresh, so devastating that 2K Games was actually forced to lose out on easy money so that it could take the series back to the drawing board and create something that didn’t resemble a Bray Wyatt house of horrors match. WWE 2K Battlegrounds was a stop-gap solution and while it’s alright, it won’t be able to lock you into the STFU for long.
From WWE’s frequent bumblings there arose a new challenger last year: All Elite Wrestling. With a roster that includes some of the hottest names in the business, up and coming talent that’s ready for the main event, and matches that actually make you care, AEW has been a regular highlight reel of slams and elbow drops. Like any wrestling promotion it has plenty of merchandise to dip your wallet into, but what it doesn’t have? A single game to its name-brand.
Fret not, AEW is getting three games soon.
Announced by the wrasslin’ organisation, the first AEW game will be headed up by former WWE 2K developer Yukes and WWF No Mercy director Hideyuki Iwashita, for current and next-gen consoles. Please, please let this have shades of the Smackdown Vs. RAW glory days. The second game will AEW Elite General Manager, a mobile game where you can run the day to day operations of the wrestling promotion. Lastly, AEW Casino: Double or Nothing is a literal gambling game where the prizes are AEW merch. Well at least they’re being honest about it.
AEW executive vice president and wrestler Kenny Omega explained that for the main event game which Yukes is handling, the emphasis is on fun over realism. For the sake of comparison, imagine something along the lines of the NBA Jam and NFL Blitz games and compare those to 2K’s more grounded simulations.
That’s brilliant news. Current WWE 2K games are too much of a chore to currently play, forcing players to follow a script if they want to see any success in the wrestling ring and resulting in matches that are straight up not fun, yo. Granted Yukes’ turn as a developer of WWE games resulted in increasingly terrible games over the latter half of this decade, although I’d attribute that more to 2K Games and its particular gameplay focus and its habit of nickle-and-diming players with microtransactions wherever possible.
AEW has been a breath of fresh air and a proper challenger to WWE ever since it hit the scene, and with Yukes possibly bringing its pedigree (not that one) of wrestling experience back to the gaming scene, it looks ready to take on the biggest name in the business of video games as well. That right there, is a pause for celebration. And you know what every celebration needs? A LITTLE BIT OF THE BUBBLY!
Last Updated: November 11, 2020