2K, the publisher behind the yearly WWE 2K franchise of games, has announced the cancellation of the next release in the series as well as the release of a separate new game on the horizon.
The company released an open letter on Monday detailing its decisions.
WWE 2K20 has been panned by fans and critics, receiving scores below 50% from multiple game publications, including IGN, GamesRadar+ and Metacritic. Several videos have been posted on social media involving major game glitches, and Forbes even said the game "... might be the most hated pro wrestling game ever."
As a result, 2K has decided to push the production timeline of the next release in the series and a game will not be released in fiscal year 2021. While this likely means the WWE 2K21 name will be skipped, it was not confirmed in the statement whether WWE 2K22 will be the next title released in fiscal year 2022, though 2K did say more information will be revealed in the coming months.
A new executive producer has been hired, Patrick Gilmore, who brings with him more than 25 years of industry experience, including working on the Aladdin release for Sega Genesis, which still enjoys a cult following today. Gilmore has also worked on Killer Instinct, Medal of Honor and Amazon's New World.
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There will, however, still be a WWE video game release from 2K coming up, as the company also announced WWE 2K Battlegrounds, described as " a completely new WWE gaming experience that will feature arcade-style action and over-the-top Superstar designs, environments and moves." The game will be developed by Saber Interactive, the studio that also worked on NBA 2K Playgrounds. WWE 2K Battlegrounds is scheduled to be released in fall 2020.
2K also publishes WWE Supercard, a successful mobile, card-based game. 2K touted in the release that the app has enjoyed more than 20 million installs, with more card tiers, in-game events and announcements to come in the near future.
2K acquired the WWE video game license in early 2013 after previous owner THQ went bankrupt in late 2012.