2K Games Reveals Why WWE 2K21 Is not Coming Out

After World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) confirmed there would be no WWE 2K21 during an investor call Thursday, fans of the series were left wondering why this decision was made until the announcement of WWE 2K Battlegrounds earlier today. According to that announcement statement put out by publisher 2K Games, Saber Interactive's 2K Battlegrounds is meant to be something of a filler game as Visual Concepts' mainline WWE 2K title takes an extra year off to ensure the developers "can create a great game."

After WWE 2K20 had a disastrous launch 2K Games says it has "heard and appreciate[d] your feedback," releasing many DLC expansions and keeping servers open for the yearly series' previous installment. Now the next game's developers will be applying what they've learned to create an experience "with a renewed focus on quality and fun," and doing so by extending 2K21's production timeline until the T2 fiscal year 2021.

 

One of the major steps 2K Games has taken to ensure Visual Concepts has a more successful outing with this next title is hiring former Amazon Games Orange County studio head, Patrick Gilmore. Gilmore joined Visual Concepts as a "franchise executive producer" in March 2020 according to his LinkedIn profile, and 2K Games says it is confident his hiring "will lead to better games in the future."

Of its three iterations on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, WWE 2K20 received it's (only slightly) highest acclaim on Xbox with a MetaCritic score of 45 and no positive reviews. Many cited its overabundance of bugs, poor story mode, and lackluster wrestling mechanics for this, so it makes sense for the publisher to be holding off on another installment until changes are made.

However, the reactions to 2K Battlegrounds online have not been overwhelmingly positive since the game was revealed either. Despite trying to shake up the formula by providing fans more of an arcade-styled title that proclaims players can "brawl without limits" in its reveal trailer, some have taken issue with the overtly cartoonish art style and equally cartoonish mechanics like aura-powered punches and throwing wrestlers into the maw of an alligator.

While WWE's video games have been going through hard times resulting in the extended production of WWE 2k21, so too has the media company's real-world endeavors during the coronavirus pandemic. Production on WWE matches were halted until Florida deemed professional sports an 'essential service,' and reports have said now employees are being forced to work on TV tapings.



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