There won't be a new WWE 2K game this year. But in its place, something new and different is coming to try and switch up the WWE's games routine: WWE 2K Battlegrounds, an arcade-style wrestling game from the developers of NBA Playgrounds.
Headed up by Saber Interactive, WWE 2K Battlegrounds looks like an exaggerated version of wrestling, complete with cartoon proportions, fiery special moves, and throwing opponents to the gators in a swamp. In an announcement blog, 2K says the game is focusing on "social pick-up-and-play fun," though there will be depth for those who want to dive in.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds is set for this fall, but that's not all the video game wrasslin' news today. 2K also addressed its ongoing efforts regarding the WWE 2K series, especially regarding the lukewarm reception of WWE 2K20.
2K has already confirmed there would be no new WWE 2K game this year. In today's blog, the publisher says it hears and appreciates the feedback, and alongside keeping the WWE 2K19 servers online for the time being, 2K says it's approaching the next WWE 2K game with "a renewed focus on quality and fun." This includes giving Visual Concepts an extended production timeline, as well as bringing on Patrick Gilmore (formerly of Killer Instinct, Medal of Honor, and Amazon's New World) as executive producer to oversee WWE 2K development.
"We hope you find this news as exciting as we do," the 2K blog states. "We are confident it will lead to better games in the future."
Visual Concepts took over the WWE 2K series last year after longtime developer Yuke's was taken off the wrestling series. It resulted in a wrestling game that was utterly bizarre in its bugs and glitches at times, though it did make for one of the best segments of our Extra Life stream last year. I'm interested by all of this; both in a more cartoonish, wacky wrestling game, and what the extra time and retooling of the WWE 2K series could lead to for Visual Concepts' next effort.