The last big wrestling video game to hit the market was last year’s WWE 2K20 and to say that it was equal to a dumpster fire would be insulting to the dumpster…and the fire. It was a mess on so many levels mostly down to the fact that long time developer Yukes left the project, meaning one of 2K’s teams needed to pick up the pieces. For more details check out my article from last year.
Nearly eight months later and the sad truth is nothing has changed, 2K have released some patches but the game is still an embarrassment. So much so that for the first time since 1999, 2K announced there won’t be an annual WWE release and WWE 2K21 is officially cancelled. Well that is unless you include the newly announced arcade style WWE 2K Battlegrounds… the less said about this the better in my opinion.
Personally I’m not too cut up about this. Yes I’ve been playing wrestling games for as long as I can remember but my ever growing disgust for the way WWE and it’s chairman Vince McMahon does business has made this an easier pill to swallow.
Settle in for a list of very good reasons why I took the decision to no longer give my hard earned money to Vince McMahon and the WWE and why I have little sympathy for them not being able to put out a game this year…
Running shows in Saudi Arabia was bad enough, but abandoning his roster trapped in a Saudi airport due to an argument over payment with a Saudi Prince while he flew home in his private jet was peak McMahon. Then Coronavirus struck… while smaller companies such as Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling have stopped running shows for the safety of their wrestlers and show runners, WWE have marched ahead with live shows from their performance center and have even steeped low enough to fly out commentator Jerry Lawler – a 70 year old man with a heart condition. Hold tight, it gets worse.
But why are they allowed to run these shows I hear you cry. Didn’t you know? WWE are counted as key workers in Florida (the performance center location). That’s right folks we have medical staff, emergency services, care workers, shop workers and oily pretend fighters. How did the state of Florida come to this mad decision? I’m sure it has nothing whatsoever to do with the $18.5 million
bribe donation that Linda McMahon made to the state of Florida the day before the announcement was made. Money which by the way will be reportedly spent on pro Trump broadcasts. Trump, the same moronic President who has included Vince McMahon as part of his team to restart the US economy.
Oh we’re not done! A few weeks ago I’m sure Vince’s workforce was feeling reasonably safe in their jobs (aside from being forced to travel to Florida every week during a pandemic). With WWE heading for their most profitable year to date and still running what feels like roughly 178 weekly television shows, these guys are safe right? Especially given much smaller wrestling companies haven’t cut any staff yet. Nope, on April 15th WWE kindly texted (yup, they actually did this by text!) over 20 of their active roster members and even more behind the scenes staff to let them know they are being released from their contact with immediate effect. But don’t worry, they were kind enough to wave the usual 90 day no compete clause so they can go work elsewhere with immediate effect… oh yeah that’s right, only one other wrestling company is currently running in this climate!
So there you have it, this is why I refuse to give any money to this nasty company and trust me, I’ve given you the short version. A small amount of research will reveal much more including Vince’s alleged bribes to save Jimmy Snuka from being charged with murder, going ahead with a tribute show for Chris Benoit hours after he murdered his wife and child then killing himself (yes WWE fans, he knew full well what had happened!). So after making my decision to boycott the company, not having a new WWE game to ignore is not an issue for yours truly.
The thing is I do still like these games, prior to 2K20 at least. I don’t use any of the WWE “superstars” in the game, instead choosing to download wonderfully created NJPW, AEW, and ROH wrestlers made by talented creators on what is one of the best video game series on the market for custom creations.
If you really can’t cope without a wrestling game to play for the next year and a half and don’t fancy the arcade style games such as Fire Pro Wrestling (which is brilliant by the way) then I recommend two options. 1. Wait to see what project Yukes left WWE to work on or wait for the rumoured upcoming AEW game or 2. Buy WWE 2K19…
Okay I know I just went on a giant rant about giving WWE any support but this one isn’t that. As an apology to fans for the disaster that was 2K20, 2K announced that the servers will remain open for 2K19 as many players drifted back to that as you know… it’s better. And given there’s so many of these games in the wild, picking one up pre-owned (therefore not giving any money to WWE) is incredibly easy and reasonably priced. Even if you do buy new, at least that supports the developers at 2K who shouldn’t really be tarred with the same brush as the evil overlords they supply a game for. What’s even better is that all those talented creators I mentioned earlier are migrating back to 2K19, meaning you don’t even have to use the bland WWE characters.
So wrestling fans, what will you do? Are you going back to 2K19? Are you insane and playing 2K20? Maybe you’re obsessed with Fire Pro Wrestling anyway so all this is irrelevant, or maybe you’re happy to go a couple of years without a wrestling game. Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @MikeyGalaszia. Stay safe you beautiful people.Become a Patron!