Between the poor reviews and millions of dollars lost, WWE and 2K Games opted to scrap their annual installment in the WWE 2K for this coming fall. Instead two games are now being worked on — the arcade style WWE 2K Battlegrounds and the next major console installment, WWE 2K22. The latter game's executive director Patrick Gilmore hosted a Reddit AMA on Friday, in which he dived into what future game will look like.
Gilmore claimed that, in terms of core game play, his team is looking back to the retro classics like WWF No Mercy and WWE SmackDown: Here Comes The Pain! for inspiration.
"We are looking at much-loved previous games like No Mercy or Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain, along with top franchise installments, and more modern wrestling and fighting games to build an all-new philosophical foundation for the game," Gimore wrote. "People who hope that we holistically adopt the control scheme or philosophy from one of their favorite games are likely to be disappointed; we are trying to combine the best ideas out there into a brand new wrestling experience that sets a new standard.
"For Depth, we're looking a lot at ring position, deeper combos and working moves, limb damage, technical capabilities, match momentum and unlocks, and rock-paper-scissors (RPS) strategies by archetype and player style," he continued. "Depth doesn't come from the manual skill of pressing the proper buttons but from the psychological game of anticipating and countering your opponent's strategy, and this needs to be built in from the very foundation, so expect a significant evolution in gameplay with the next installment."
Along with an in-depth description of the customization options, Gilmore talked about the personality he wants to bring back to the franchise.
"The last aspect of great gameplay is capturing the essence of professional wrestling, which has dimensions of drama, changing context, massive roster, backstage action, weapons and props, audience participation and spectacle," he wrote. "One of the huge challenges of the franchise is finding ways for players to feel in control of the vast number of potential outcomes in a given match. While we take lessons from fighting games, action RPG's and other genres, this aspect helps us stay focused on delivering a through-and-through wrestling game. While we're determined to deliver the spectacle and specific moments of a genuine match, I can say we're trying to get away form UI popups or mini games to represent things like pins or reversals, and instead move those concepts into more fully-realized mechanics which feel like extensions of the main experience."