AEW Fight Forever, the All Elite Wrestling game from Yuke’s and THQ Nordic, was originally set to launch in late 2022. When it missed this date, much speculation arose about the future of the release, with one report flagging potential United States ESRB rating issues as the reason for the delay. Now, wrestler and game developer Kenny Omega – fresh off a cameo appearance in Like a Dragon: Ishin! – has confirmed the reason for the game’s delay.
According to Omega, the ESRB report was accurate; the game had to be ‘scaled back’ to meet a desired Teen classification. While exact details of cuts were not provided, Omega discussed a need to reduce blood and violence in the game, to meet rating criteria and ensure AEW Fight Forever could be purchased by its target audience.
‘I’m not too sure how much we had to scale it back, but man, I loved it. You could make the ring look like a murder scene if you wanted to,’ Omega recently told the SwerveCity Podcast. ‘I hope there’s still some way to get a semblance of that, I hope we haven’t dumbed it down too much.’
Given the official ESRB rating for the game handed down in early 2023 detailed exposed buttocks, deadly weapons, and plenty of violence, it’s likely Omega will get his wish.
Later in the SwerveCity interview, Omega discussed the disappointment of the game’s delay, and hinted at particular roster inclusions that may surprise players, due to the rating delay and how it ‘held back’ the release of the game.
‘The longer time goes by, this finished product that we have is going to be a little dated. A lot of the same people are going to be there, and are there, but some aren’t – and you’re going to wonder “why [a wrestler you’ve watched] on… TV for a week, why isn’t he there?”‘
While the game’s full roster has not been revealed, it does appear former AEW (now WWE) wrestler Cody Rhodes will still be included in the game, alongside current roster members. Likewise, CM Punk will likely still be on the game’s roster, despite questions about his position within AEW, and his removal from the Fight Forever cover.
We’ll likely learn more in the coming months, as AEW Fight Forever heads for release. With the rating issue now cleared with the ESRB, it does appear we’re on the fast track to hearing more about the game – but for now, it remains undated. Stay tuned to hear more about this upcoming release.