After one of their worst releases ever last year with WWE 2k20, it would seem like a good idea for publisher 2K Sports to delay the release of WWE 2k21. Pushing it back could ensure that the game is better than last year’s disaster, and ultimately that’s what most fans would prefer. Let me explain.
WWE 2k20 issues
To put it lightly, WWE 2k20 was a dumpster fire of a game. So many games have realistic looking athletes at this point, but the wrestlers in WWE 2k20 didn’t look realistic at all. The graphics were objectively terrible, and somehow a step back from previous releases.
WWE 2k20 was released in October of 2019 and there were so many problems with it that three days lates , WWEgames announced a patch packed with fixes and improvements was already being prepared. Some of the issues with the game included lag in online modes, incorrectly labeled music, the game failing to recognize DLC ownership, and random prompts displaying when they shouldn’t.
The issues persisted in the new year. When 2020 came around, the game just stopped working. Players were able to change the system date back a day to fix the issue, and another patch was released to fix that problem. Nevertheless, players’ patience with WWE 2k20 was clearly running out. Refunds were issued.
The cause of this steep drop in quality could possibly be related to WWE 2k20 dropping their long-time development studio partner, Yuke’s. The Japanese development studio that had worked on WWE games since 2000 left the project in 2019, leaving it entirely in the hands of Visual Concepts.
Because of the issues from WWE 2k20, members of the team quit in the double digits. They didn’t want to continue to be associated with the failure of 2k20 anymore. Since the game was riddled with so many bugs, it sold poorly. Subsequently, WWE 2k21 will likely have a smaller budget to work with.
A smaller budget doesn’t just mean less money to fix things, it means less freedom to be creative. That’s especially problematic when you consider the outfit is already down 10 people on their development team. Many of 2k20‘s problems arguably happened because there weren’t enough people working on the game. Trying to create a sequel with less resources and staff doesn’t sound like a plan for success.
With a delay for the release, 2K would be able to stabilize their budged and address the issues of 2k20. There is a lot of good stuff that can be salvaged from it for the next title. Visual Concepts kept the ability to match build and have technical wrestling – called chain wrestling – but they also slowed it down to feel like a real match. WWE expanded features to add the choice of gender to MyCareer Mode. While there are still things to clean up, there is a good base to build on.
They also included the option for alternate entrances for wrestlers, giving you the choice to decide if your wrestler would be using their good or bad persona’s entrance music. That was pretty cool.
What should change
2k20 had far less legends for players to choose from than previous games offered. A lot of players – myself included – would like to see all the legends back and accessible. Some players want to be able to recreate iconic matches, and without all the WWE legends being on the roster, that’s not possible.
WWE 2k21 should also redo the limb targeting and go back to the one button system to make it less complicated for players. Having to push multiple buttons after only previously having to push one, makes it harder for players to catch on.
After looking at all of the issues WWE 2k20 had, it makes sense for developers to delay WWE 2k21 until 2021. It gives everyone involved the time to fix the issues that are present in 2k20 and ensure they don’t happen again. Frankly, I don’t think they can’t afford to lose more money on another bad release.