WWE 2K is looking to the past for inspiration for their next annual release in the WWE video game series.
WWE 2K Executive Producer Patrick Gilmore took part in a Reddit AMA session and fielded fan questions about the future of the series. 2K previously announced they would not release a ‘2K21’ edition of the game due to poor feedback for WWE 2K20’s release, and would instead work to revamp the series.
During the AMA, Gilmore was asked about overhauling the gameplay and he said they were looking at two highly-praised titles, ‘WWF No Mercy’ And ‘WWE SmackDown: Here Comes The Pain’, for inspiration for their new game.
What are some aspects of gameplay overhaul that the WWE 2K team is working on?
Core gameplay is one of the major investments we’re making in the next installment—one of six pillars we are focused on disproportionately in development. We are looking at much-loved previous games like No Mercy or Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain, along with top franchise installments, and more modern wrestling and fighting games to build an all-new philosophical foundation for the game. People who hope that we holistically adopt the control scheme or philosophy from one of their favorite games are likely to be disappointed; we are trying to combine the best ideas out there into a brand new wrestling experience that sets a new standard. The game play team is focused on Accessibility, Depth and Wrestling Experience. For Accessibility, we’re obsessed with a simple, intuitive interface which has meaning and depth in a wide variety of contexts—i.e. the game is a lot smarter about what the player is trying to do given a gameplay situation (in a grapple, on the ropes, against a turnbuckle, etc.), with consistent inputs regardless of situation. New players should be able to accidentally pull off awesome moves just by playing with and experimenting with controls. For Depth, we’re looking a lot at ring position, deeper combos and “working” moves, limb damage, technical capabilities, match momentum and unlocks, and rock-paper-scissors (RPS) strategies by archetype and player style. Depth doesn’t come from the manual skill of pressing the proper buttons but from the psychological game of anticipating and countering your opponent’s strategy, and this needs to be built in from the very foundation, so expect a significant evolution in gameplay with the next installment.
Patrick had previously revealed the most requested changes to the series; there won’t be a new game in the traditional WWE 2K series this year but the company announced the new arcade-style WWE 2K Battlegrounds will be released this year.