For a decade now, the WWE 2K wrestling games have essentially had no big budget competition. Following the death of WWF No Mercy developer AKI in 2006, the 2K games have become the only real place to go if you want a big budget console wrestling experience. While most companies would relish a monopoly, it has apparently caused a lack of motivation within WWE 2K devloper Yuke's and its development team.
The comments, which come from an interview between Yuke's senior vice president Hiromi Furuta and VGC, shed an interesting light on the state of the WWE 2K series, which has largely stagnated without competition. According to Furuta, the team is working on a second wrestling game series, just to force their development team into having some competition.
“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," Furuta explained. "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.”
"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."
According to the interview, Yuke's has not yet decided on the target market for its new franchise, which could skew anywhere from realism to fantasy. All we know right now is that the studio hopes having two teams competing to make interesting wrestling games will give their team a new reason to push to make the best games possible.