WWE 2K24’s MyRISE mode was developed with Drew Gulak

WWE 2K24's dual storylines were developed with a highly-experienced team.
wwe 2k24 myrise story mode

WWE 2K24 once again features dual storylines in the campaign-style MyRISE mode, which allows players to enter the world of WWE as a custom superstar, and grab those so-called “brass rings.” In the female-oriented plot Unleashed, players will embody an independent, formally trained wrestler who enters WWE to advance her career. The male-oriented Undisputed plot seeks to ask the question: what happens when a major superstar leaves a gap in WWE’s power structure?

In either plot, players will get the chance to explore the inner workings of WWE, and exist within its universe as an original character – either self-insert, or an imagined avatar.

Speaking to GamesHub as part of a group session, the game’s developers revealed that while MyRISE contains “fantasy” wrestling storylines, its has firm groundings in reality, with knowledge drawn from a range of team members and consultants with real-world wrestling experience.

“A lot of the writers who work on MyRISE come from a background, where a lot of us have worked at WWE,” Andrea Listenberger, Senior Narrative Designer at Visual Concepts said. “We have had experience working for independent promotions, in some cases. There’s a couple of writers who’ve actually stepped into the ring.”

Read: Interview: Rhea Ripley on covering WWE 2K24, and the women’s wrestling evolution

While Listenberger isn’t one of them, she described experiences writing behind-the-scenes for both WWE and smaller promotions, with this proving invaluable for informing the player paths of MyRISE mode. She also revealed that WWE wrestler Drew Gulak was an invaluable part of shaping this year’s storylines.

Image: Visual Concepts / 2K Games

“We draw inspiration from everything,” Listenberger explained. “This year, we were also really lucky to get the chance to work with Drew Gulak, who has experience both in WWE and outside of WWE. He acted as a resource for us, primarily for motion capture, helping us ‘plus up’ some of our scenes, and being our wrestling advisor on set.”

Gulak has been wrestling for various wrestling promotions for two decades, and works as both an on-screen wrestler in WWE’s NXT, and as a wrestling coach. As Listenberger describes, he played a key role in the development of WWE 2k24.

“If you have someone like Drew on set, you’re not just saying ‘Oh Drew, help us with this hold [in motion capture] … it’s all a collaboration, with all the resources we have,” Listenberger said. “I was trying to think of nicer way to say this, but we try to ‘milk them dry’ and pull everything we can, as much as possible, to make the experience feel as authentic as it can in a video game. At the same time, a big part of it is allowing for player expression – so we don’t all the times want to say ‘hey, this is how it is for you.'”

“We want to say to the player, here’s a couple of options – how do you want it to be for you in this particular playthrough, based on what you’ve defined? We’re not going to do that in every single step of the story, but we find that middle ground – and to find that middle ground, we rely on all of our combined resources [and] experiences.”

Per Listenberger, when players step into the virtual ring, they’ll be getting an experience that draws from the real life day-to-day operations of WWE, with inspiration taken from those working on the frontlines of wrestling. In either Undisputed or Unleashed, the goal of Visual Concepts and 2K Games is to ensure players get a well-rounded, realistic taste of life as a wrestler.

WWE 2K24 
launches for PlayStation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on 8 March 2024.

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Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.