Yuke, the developers of the WWE 2K wrestling series, have formed a new dev team to work on a new wrestling game they hope will rival their own.
According to the studio's producer and senior vice president Hiromi Furuta, the new team has started working on a new wrestling IP in a move Yuke hopes will motivate staff.
Yuke has been the only notable developer in the wrestling genre since AKI Corporation stopped making wrestling games in 2006. And the feeling is that the lack of competition is counterproductive.
“I think having no competitor isn’t healthy at all,” Furuta said in a recent interview VGC. “When we had competitors in the wrestling space, we were determined not to lose and that was a great motivator for creating something great.
“But 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. 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.”
This new project does not mean that the 2K series will be over; the development crew will be retained too. But the studio heads have become aware that some complacency could be setting in and they're now looking to spruce things up with a rival title.
“We are trying to launch a new wrestling game,” Furuta explained. “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."
“It is a project dear to our hearts and has even become a part of some of the veteran creators’ lives,” she says in reference to 2K. “We have a huge history making these games and still have a good relationship with 2K. Anyhow, WWE would never allow us to stop making these games! However, the new project we have in mind will be the internal competition for WWE.”
The new game is very early in its development and a direction hasn't been chosen just yet, so we shouldn't expect any major news anytime soon. There's also no indication as to whether the project will focus on a reality-based version or if it will include fantasy elements.
Despite the implied complacency, the latest installment, WWE 2K19, has been very successful and adding an internal rival seems a very bold venture. Time will tell how this plays out.
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