In a recent earnings call Take-Two Interactive, parent company of 2K Games, confirmed that WWE 2K23 is happening, and that it will be published by 2K Games as originally planned. Ahead of the launch of WWE 2K22, much discussion focussed on the future of the franchise, with many speculating that a failure would result in WWE passing its game development contract onto another company.
Defying all expectations, WWE 2K22 was a major triumph. It debuted with a renewed sense of vigour, made clever changes to the franchise’s much-hated tutorial system, and included an array of great modes – including a heartfelt tribute to WWE legend Rey Mysterio. The memories of the bug-riddled WWE 2K20 were effectively erased by the latest entry, and the game appears to have also cemented the good work of 2K Games and developer Visual Concepts in the eyes of WWE.
While not dwelt upon by Take-Two, WWE 2K23 was notably confirmed in its recent earnings call, and appeared in its list of upcoming games. No firm date was set, but ‘Fiscal 2023’ was identified as the general release period. That likely puts the game in the first half of 2023 – as with WWE 2K22 before it.
In Take-Two’s financial report, the launch of WWE 2K22 was noted as being ‘highly successful’ with the post-launch DLC game packs noted for their ability to ‘further engage’ the WWE 2K playerbase. It’s likely the next game in the series will follow this example, and adapt many of the changes that WWE 2K22 made to the classic formula.
That said, it shouldn’t take everything from WWE 2K22.
One of the major issues with this game was its odd roster. Because of the game’s longer development cycle, it contained more than 30 wrestlers who were no longer under contract with WWE. Many of the wrestlers included were actually wrestling with rival companies like AEW by the time the game launched, making for an awkward experience. Updates to the game’s roster ahead of launch are essential – as is the inclusion of newer stars like Cody Rhodes, Karrion Kross, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky.
Showcase Mode also needs some tweaks if it’s going to be the ‘flagship’ game mode of WWE 2K23. The last game spotlighted Rey Mysterio in a big way, but had major gaps in his career due to likeness rights not being available. It’s a tough ask, but this should be resolved for whoever gets the next spotlight – Charlotte Flair, perhaps? Maybe Randy Orton? AJ Styles?
Whatever 2K Games and Visual Concepts decide, it’s likely WWE 2K23 will build on the surprise success of WWE 2K22 for a bigger and grander game. Stay tuned for more news in early 2023.