2K Games has announced WWE 2K22 servers are set to shut down on 3 January 2024, with all online modes and functions, including matches and community creations no longer available from this date. That means anyone who’s still playing the game will need to be satisfied with their own creations, and local matches – otherwise, they’ll need to upgrade to WWE 2K23 or the incoming WWE 2K24.
That appears to be the goal of the shutdown, as 2K Games is encouraging those fans to upgrade their WWE 2K edition – despite this transition coming with its own complications.
For one thing, the WWE 2K22 roster is vastly different from that of WWE 2K23, as a number of wrestlers left the company or were released in the space between these games. In fact, even at the time of the game’s release, around 30 of the included wrestlers were no longer with WWE, making it fairly dated. That said, many of the names included are outright superstars, and great fun to play, with the game’s roster still including Toni Storm, Sasha Banks, Billy Kay, Peyton Royce, and Jeff Hardy, amongst others.
The loss of these fan-favourite wrestlers will likely be difficult for those now required to transition – but there’s also another reason why the move is frustrating.
WWE 2K22 will have one of the shortest shelf lives for WWE games in recent memory. Yet it’s one of the most important games in the franchise’s modern history.
When WWE 2K20 launched, it was critically derided for its buggy nature and endless glitches, with many calling it the final straw for the franchise. After its overtly negative reception, 2K Games took a year off, instead launching a strange spin-off game – WWE 2K Battlegrounds – and biding time for the release of the excellent WWE 2K22. In the GamesHub review of the title, we called it a phoenix. It was a game that built on the mistakes of its predecessor, overhauling gameplay and presentation to great effect.
It essentially saved the series from the doldrums, and paved the way for the equally-excellent WWE 2K23. While this latest release is fantastic, it basically builds on the foundations of WWE 2K22. They’re very similar games, with changes only to their rosters and available game modes. The upgrade here is only incremental – and fans could have been perfectly satisfied with sticking to WWE 2K22 in the years to come.
That doesn’t appear to be the case any longer, as 2K Games is now planning to shut down servers and transition those who enjoy online play onto newer games in the series. It’s an unfortunate move, and one that may spell a precedent for future WWE 2K releases.
WWE 2K22 owners can still enjoy online matches and functionality until the server cut-off date, on 3 January 2024.