In a brief statement last week stemming from a WWE investor’s meeting it was revealed that a replacement game was in the works for the now-canceled WWE 2K21. That game now has a name, look, and release date as WWE 2K Battlegrounds brings cartooney, gator-adjacent action to consoles this fall. In a full announcement by 2K (that also included a full statement on the cancelation of WWE 2K21) the publisher said, “We want to ensure the development team at Visual Concepts can create a great game that will entertain grizzled WWE 2K veterans, as well as newcomers who want to climb through the ropes and step into the ring for the very first time. As part of that commitment, we are extending the production timeline and will not be releasing a WWE 2K simulation game in 2020.”
But fear not, WWE Universe, because those clamoring for a new WWE arcade-style brawler since the release of WWE All-Stars are getting their wish in the form of 2K Battlegrounds. The first teaser trailer for the very much not-simulation wrestling game released alongside 2K’s statement.
The game is being developed by Saber Interactive, whose body of work includes Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn, Quake Champions, and NBA Playgrounds. No details about the game itself were said besides that it is “a completely new WWE gaming experience that will feature arcade-style action and over-the-top Superstar designs, environments, and moves.” More details are expected to come in the later months.
The statement from 2K also announced their renewed dedication to the future of its simulation franchise, with the reveal of a new Executive Producer. Visual Concepts will hand the WWE 2K series reins over to Patrick Gilmore, described in the release as having “over 25 years of experience in video games, reaching all the way back to Disney’s Aladdin on Sega Genesis, and including franchises like Killer Instinct, Medal of Honor, and, most recently, Amazon’s New World.”
Though the game’s developer pedigree leaves some quality to be desired an arcade brawler is a smart move and a much-needed stopgap. The WWE 2K simulation franchise has treaded water for the longest time and this cancelation may just be the life preserver it needs to get back on track from the disasters of previous years.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds releases in Fall 2020.