The developer of the WWE 2K wrestling series has created a new development team intended to act as an internal rival. In an interview with VGC, Hiromi Furuta, producer and senior vice president of veteran wrestling game developer Yuke’s, said that the hope was that the new team will help motivate staff.
The new team is working on the early stages of a brand-new wrestling IP. The WWE team will remain in place, but Furuta says that “we are aware that out creators are beginning to lose sight of their passion and confidence.” In an attempt to combat that, the new game “will be the internal competition for WWE.”
One of the difficulties facing the developer is the lack of any meaningful competition. Since 2006, when AKI Corporation stopped making wrestling game, Yuke’s has been the only triple-A developer in the genre. Furuta said that “when we had competitors in the wrestling space, we were determined not to lose and that was a great motivator for creating something great.”
With little competition, there’s little to drive Yuke’s to innovate. As a result, the developer has been using old assets and hasn’t “achieved what we’ve really wanted to do.”
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The new title is still very early in development – the team hasn’t yet decided what direction the game will take – so don’t expect to concrete details any time soon. Given the success of WWE 2K19, attempting to divert the studio’s attention seems like a bold idea, but we’ll have to wait and see whether it eventually bears fruit.