When WWE 2K20 failed miserably with its horrendous performance and bug infested gameplay, 2K nixed plans for a WWE 2K21 and instead are waiting to launch a new WWE on next gen systems like PS5 and XBOX series X. This leaves a hole in the video game wrestling world with no other wrestling promotion around to fill it…until AEW decided to launch AEW Games.
Three separate games featuring the All Elite Wrestling (AEW) brand are currently in development, the organization announced today.
This lineup of upcoming AEW games includes an as-of-yet untitled wrestling game for current and next-gen consoles helmed by former WWE 2K developer Yuke’s, mobile general manager simulator AEW Elite General Manager, and virtual gambling game AEW Casino: Double or Nothing, through which players can win AEW merch.
Details on the console game were scarce apart from some brief, work-in-progress footage, but AEW executive vice president and wrestler Kenny Omega mentioned that they’re interested in creating a game rooted in fun rather than realism, something along the lines of NBA Jam and NFL Blitz. Hideyuki Iwashita, who directed one of the best wrestling games of all time in WWF No Mercy, was also announced as being involved with the project.
AEW Wrestlers Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, Britt Baker and AEW Referee Aubrey Edwards were all on hand (dressed like Steve Jobs) to announce the upcoming games. While the involvement of Yuke’s comes as a bit of a surprise—the studio’s work on the WWE 2K series grew increasingly poor before it was dismissed in 2018—its decades-long pedigree as a wrestling game developer should give AEW a solid foothold as the company begins to expand. In a perfect world, outside competition leads to improvements, so I’m looking forward to seeing if AEW can challenge WWE in the world of video games as well.
AEW was established in 2019 with backing from Jacksonville Jaguars co-owner Tony Khan. The company has since become a direct competitor to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) thanks to a roster o fan-favorite wrestlers like Omega, world champion Jon Moxley (who performed as Dean Ambrose during his time with WWE), women’s champion Hikaru Shida, tag team champions The Young Bucks, Matt Hardy, and Cody Rhodes, son of the late, great Dusty Rhodes.