2K has officially inked a five-year deal to publish WWE games. Under the 2K Sports label, the next WWE title will be re-branded as WWE 2K14 and Visual Concepts will be brought in to assist longtime WWE developer Yukes with the game. WWE 2K14 is still scheduled to arrive this fall...
“What we’re going to do moving forward is meld Yukes with the team at Visual Concepts, so we can have the best of both worlds. Having Yukes’ experience and then getting the Visual Concepts guys on board with them, we think this is going to be a dynamic duo.”
And the logo!
|image via: WWE|
I honestly don't think I've been this excited for a WWE video game since I first saw pictures of War Zone way back in 1997. Now, hopefully this ends better than War Zone did and I am mildly nervous about a potential too many cooks in the kitchen scenario with Yukes and Visual Concepts working together, but on its face, this is fantastic news.
When WWE signed on with THQ way back in 1999, it was exciting because you knew you were going to get the awesome WCW style games with the WWF brand that had taken control in the Monday Night War. Okay, it was only good news if you had a Nintendo 64, if you had a PS1, you were stuck with the shitty Smackdown games (and Know Your Role sucked too, yeah I said it).
Sadly, the AKI games were put to bed and smothered with a pillow, non-Playstation owners got a series of horrible games and the Smackdown series kept on being the Smackdown series. It had its ups (Here Comes the Pain, 2006) and it had its downs (all of them except those games), but things mostly stayed the same. WWE '12 and '13 were steps in the right direction, '13 in particular, but this is the first major change for WWE video games in over a decade. A new developer is working on a WWE game!
I wouldn't count on WWE 2K14 being the drastic change, they've been working on it for a year already, but with a new developer to polish the game and a new publishing arm to actually listen to feedback, this could finally be the return of WWE video games.
Oh and put No Mercy out on PSN and Xbox Live Arcade already with an updated roster. It really can't be that hard.