After many long years of producing wrestling games, veteran developers Yuke’s Studios will be stepping away from the WWE franchise and their partnership with 2K Games. WWE licensed games, including WWE 2K20, will be hereby led by Visual Concepts, a development team who have had experience working under Yuke’s since WWE 2K14.
In an interview with VGC, 2K Games stated that:
“As we’ve continued to invest in the WWE 2K franchise, we’ve seen the Visual Concepts team display incredible passion, talent and commitment to the future of the series. We thank Yuke’s for their years of partnership and are excited to see what the Visual Concepts team brings to the franchise moving forward.”
Although the end of the partnership between Yuke’s and 2K doesn’t necessarily mean the end of their time in the wrestling/gaming business. Yuke’s have made their intentions very clear in that they look to start working on new, original projects to reinvigorate their staff’s passion and provide 2K with a rival product. Yuke’s have openly agreed with fans in saying that each year, the team fail to implement any changes to the game’s engine, and the product has been left to become rather stale.
In a statement to VGC earlier in the year, Yuke’s senior vice president Hiromi Furuta explained the issues WWE 2K games face as:
“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,” she said.
“For example, in many cases we’re still using old assets and we’re not able to do some things in the way that we want to.”
Yuke’s have worked with WWE games since the first SmackDown game was released on the PlayStation 1, having continued to work under both THQ and 2K Games throughout the years. It’ll be interesting to see where Yukes’ new ideology takes the wrestling game industry, whether this means the rumoured Here Comes the Pain remaster, or a potential partnership with All Elite Wrestling, who look to re-create wrestling games under the ever-popular engine used in wrestling games like No Mercy on the N64.
WWE 2K20 is set to hit the market on October 22nd, will you be pre-ordering after this mega announcement? Let us know in the comments below.