Sometimes when you’re a gamer and you have a favorite game series, and it feels like something is going on behind the scenes … you wish you knew what it was. Well, there are other times when you really wish you didn’t. This might be one of those times, but it’s best to let people know.
According to Justin Leeper, former writer, designer, and director for the games Road to WrestleMania mode for WWE SmackDown Vs Raw 2009, 2010 and 2011 (when the series was still under THQ), a possible 10 devs may have left Visual Concepts and not left for other stuff … but left to save their reputation, and 2K is looking to distance themselves from the game.
One thing he also discussed was budget and time for the sake of quality, and what it could mean for the next entry in the annual series.
“Budget and time are the two most important things when making these games for quality. You have a finite amount of time, so you really have to figure out what to put in there at that time, and you have a finite amount of money that can go into resources to make the game, all the bells and whistles and what not. So, 2K20 is selling poorly, it’s doing poorly all around, and that means that the budget will be cut, which means 2K21 is going to have to be made for much less money, which means less money to fix things, less money to innovate and 10 less people on the team. So as you can tell, the outlook isn’t very good for 2K21 either.”
Now, I am taking this as a rumor … as with anything going on behind the scenes. If it is true though, then it’s a shame really, and I know some fans of the franchise want Yukes to come back and work on the series again. This will not happen, as much as people want it to. When Yukes left, they went off to create their own wrestling game from the ground up — new game engine, new animations, new code, everything new. Anything that was WWE related went to 2K and Visual Concepts since 2K bought the license after THQ went bankrupt and has Visual Concepts working on the series now … and won’t go crawling back to Yukes for help as the higher ups at 2K are too proud to do such a thing.
While I’m a long-time fan of the WWE game franchise, something needs to change. The 2K series has almost been selling fewer and fewer units just before WWE 2K20 launched. WWE 2K19 barely sold more than one-million units … and now this? I hope for the best for whatever happens with the series after 2K20, but as it stands right now, that future isn’t very bright. Granted, things could get much worse for the series. WWE could take the license back, and fans may never see another game on consoles again. Or perhaps WWE takes the license back from 2K and sells it again just for EA to get it — which could be a worse fate, at least in fans’ eyes (including my own).
Until then, stay tuned to GamingLyfe for more on the WWE 2K series!