WWE 2K developer set to make rival series of pro wrestling games
Yukes! has been working on WWE games for over two decades at this point. The Japanese developer is now set to create their own series of wrestling games according to Yuke’s Producer and Senior Vice President Hiromi Furuta who gave an interview to Video Game Chronicle.
Furuta said the following about Yukes! deciding to start working on their own wrestling game along with the WWE 2K games they also develop. Here's what Furuta had to say:
“We are trying to launch a new wrestling game. 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.”
She gave further insight into the decision, adding that now that WWE games didn't have a direct competitor there was less chance to innovate:
Well I think having no competitor isn’t healthy at all. 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.
So we may find a way to do things in the way that we want, in terms of our existing relationship with our publisher. We will find a way!
WWE as a brand has become huge. Nobody can compete at the scale and quality that they do. However, Yuke’s as a developer is now asking, ‘What makes wrestling so unique? Why did we start in this genre?’ Our games are created by passionate developers, led by passionate fans. That is the very specific ecosystem that powers our games.
Fututa also gave her thoughts on if there were advantages to working on a wrestling game without being under the WWE license:
That question is really difficult to answer without deciding who the target audience would be. If you’re targeting hardcore wrestling fans then you would probably make a very realistic game. However if we decided to target a wider audience, then we could add those fantasy elements and create more of a fighting game with a wrestling feel, or something like that.