Why WWE and AEW fans should be excited by the news that Yuke's is breaking away from 2K Sports following WWE 2K20.
After some nonsensical concerns that WWE 2K20 wouldn't be releasing this year, the floodgates for information pertaining to the game have been finally opened and... well, some of it is uplifting while the rest of it is underwhelming or doesn't inspire confidence. However, after just announcing that Becky Lynch and the big dog, Roman Reigns, will adorn the cover, it has just been announced that 2K Sports and developer Yuke's are officially parting ways after a 20-year partnership. And, although it may not be obvious to some, this is potentially fantastic news for WWE and AEW fans, as well as those who just want a good wrestling video game.
2K Sports first acquired the WWE video game franchise with the last excellent title WWE 2K14, and since then the products have been rotten corpses annually glossed over with some pretty makeup and a 15-minute revival before returning to being a dead product nobody cares about.
But, with Yuke's and 2K Sports officially parting ways, WWE, AEW, and wrestling video game fans may finally have a lot to anticipate.
Why Yuke's leaving after WWE 2K20 could be GREAT news for WWE and AEW fans
It was announced on Tuesday that publisher 2K Sports and WWE 2K developer Yuke's have officially parted ways after a 20-year partnership.
While this could be seen as upsetting for some, it's been verbally made clear that Yuke's haven't been happy with the series' direction and that they have felt shackled.
According to PlayStation Lifestyle, Yuke's Senior Vice President and Producer, Hiromi Furuta, has been wanting to take the franchise in a different direction for a while. However, the inability to do so resulted in the development team clearly losing their passion and motivation to do anything other than complete a set of chores.
"We are aware that our creators are beginning to lose sight of their passion and confidence and becoming focused only on completing assigned tasks," said Furuta. "That's not the direction Yuke's wants to go in. 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."
In regard to not being able to deliver an annual product that always felt fresh, innovative and exciting, Furuta cited how Yuke's were typically recycling old assets.
Furuta's frustrated sentiments and Yuke's loss of passion has been mirrored by WWE fans ever since WWE 2K15. Every year the series has only made a minor step forward rather than a huge leap, and this has resulted in every instalment only being a blast for about ten seconds.
2K hasn't brought anything to the WWE video game franchise other than pretty graphics, and even these visuals have become stale thanks to the series being nothing more than style over substance.
Universe Mode has been an outdated relic with zero improvements since 2K15 (which was significantly worse than 2K14), online has always been shoddy, career mode has only just started to incorporate actual narratives rather than aimless matches, and each instalment only brings back old match types instead of adding new ones such as War Games.
To make matters worse, WWE 2K20 isn't bringing back the modes people have wanted for over a decade such as General Manager mode, and the franchise's tone has become an inconsistent mess thanks to the infamous simulated gameplay now being paired with buffoonery such as big heads.
Everything about the WWE 2K series has been negative, but Yuke's departure could be fantastic. It's unlikely that the WWE 2K games will radically improve thanks to Visual Concepts becoming the sole developer, but Yuke's might proceed to make an independent wrestling game that is actually innovative and new.
"We are trying to launch a new wrestling game," said Furuta. "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."
A game in which Yuke's have complete freedom to do whatever they want could be a fantastic alternative to the stale and recycled WWE 2K property that - because we're martyrs - we regretfully buy every year.
In addition, Chris Jericho has said that it's "pretty much inevitable" that AEW will receive their own video game, and Kenny Omega has talked about doing just that but with the No Mercy graphics engine.
Provided Yuke's and AEW deliver what they intend to, then wrestling fans could have three games to look forward to instead of just one, and this could finally bring about competition in the wrestling video game scene.
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