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I'm writing this article because like many, I'm excited for the future of this franchise.
WWE video games have a long, storied history.
WWE (then WWF) licensed video games go all the way back to 1989 with WWF Superstars in the arcades. Since then, their games have evolved into more than just button-mashing madness, but more into a strategic chess game for minds more conformed to the "Sports Entertainment-style" moveset. In the early 2000's, the WWF SmackDown series was born, and suddenly, you didn't have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy a wrestling game. In 2005, the SmackDown series morphed into the SmackDown vs. RAW series. With the inclusion of game modes like "GM Mode" and "Road to WrestleMania," the SmackDown vs. RAW games became more commonplace to pro wrestling fans everywhere. THQ, the publisher of WWE games since 1998, decided to start a new series of games, simply titled the WWE Universe series. This series only featured 2 games: WWE '12 and WWE '13. While developing WWE '14, THQ declared bankruptcy and dissolved the company. In February 2013, Take-Two Interactive announced their acquisition of the publishing rights for the WWE video game series. Later that year, 2K published their first WWE 2K game, WWE 2K14. 2K have since published 4 other games in their WWE 2K series, not including the upcoming WWE 2K19.
The last five years have been exciting for wrestling fans who play WWE games. From the revolutionary console generation jump from WWE 2K14 to WWE 2K15, to the Steve Austin-focused story mode of WWE 2K16, and the updated creation options in WWE 2K17, everyone was ecstatic for WWE 2K18.
Last year's game, WWE 2K18, promised HUGE changes, and for the most part, it lived up to those promises. With a new lighting engine, updated face and body scans, and a new online career mode, WWE 2K18 really stood out over the last four games in the franchise.
Back in February 2018, 2K asked all of their WWE 2K players to complete a feedback/wishlist survey. In this survey, they asked players about the features they liked and disliked, and they asked players about what they should change. This survey started trending, and even people who haven't played a WWE video game in 5-10 years were completing this survey.
I've talked with quite a few members of the WWE 2K fan community, and most are wary of change in the franchise. They don't believe enough has changed in the franchise to actually buy the games anymore. They no longer have faith in the company's developers to create an entertaining and interesting game anymore.
People will call me an idiot, but I DO believe in the WWE 2K development crew. I believe they have previously, and will continue to get better as a studio. My trust is in their hands to make another compelling, hard-hitting, and different video game.
Since WWE 2K15, the gameplay and presentation has been evolving into what it is today. Sure, there have been some bumps in the road, like in WWE 2K17 when the devs had to remove a Brock Lesnar-centric mode late in development, but you have to hit those bumps to get where you're going.
WWE 2K19 has been officially announced and it is set for release in the fall.
Do you think WWE 2K19 will be different?
Tweet at me! I'm @fr0wnd on Twitter!
Tell me your opinions on WWE 2K games!