WWE developer Yuke’s to establish second wrestling IP to rival its own franchise

WWE developer Yuke’s has announced it is developing a new wrestling IP in order to provide healthy “internal” competition for its own WWE franchise.

In a frank interview with VGC, senior vice president and producer of Japanese studio Yuke’s Hiromi Furuta said that despite a good reception for its latest iteration, WWE 2K19, the quality had declined and she remained frustrated with what the studio has – and has not – been able to achieve with recent WWE 2K games.

“I think having no competitor isn’t healthy at all,” Furuta told VGC. “When we had competitors in the wrestling space, we were determined not to lose and that was a great motivator for creating something great.

“But right now, looking at the market demands, players are expecting something new every time we release a game and we feel like we haven’t achieved what we’ve really wanted to do. For example, in many cases we’re still using old assets and we’re not able to do some things in the way that we want to.”

Consequently, the studio has decided to develop a competing IP within the same studio in order to rival WWE and push the team creatively.

“We are trying to launch a new wrestling game,” Furuta said. “Of course, we will retain the WWE team, but we are also aware that our creators are beginning to lose sight of their passion and confidence and becoming focused only on completing assigned tasks. That’s not the direction Yuke’s wants to go in. So, in order to compensate, we’re going to start a new wrestling project.”

Right now, the unnamed project is at a “very early” stage but Furuta believes Yuke’s preliminary ideas will result in “an interesting game”.

Take-Two posted an exceptional set of Q4 and full-year results for 2018-2019 earlier this week. On the back of the launch of Red Dead Redemption the company’s total net booking rose by 47 per cent to a record $2.93bn (£2.55bn).

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told MCV: “Red Dead Redemption 2 is a massive hit, we sold in more than 24m units. And we’ve maintained the original wholesale price while doing that.”

But Take-Two is far more than Rockstar of course. With a Take-Two statement noting that the big contributors during the year also included: NBA 2K19 and NBA 2K18, WWE 2K19 and WWE SuperCard, Dragon City and Monster Legends, and Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. Strauss commented: “We had a record year for net bookings and a record year for adjusted operating cash flow.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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