The WWE games have been synonymous with developer Yuke's for years, as they first started on WWE games back in 1999. Many had assumed they would again be at the wheel for WWE 2K20, but 2K is making some changes to the long-running series, and that includes handing over development of the game to Visual Concepts solely. Visual Concepts has actually been working with Yuke's on the franchise since WWE 2K14, but now Visual Concepts will be taking on the franchise completely.
In a statement from 2K to VGC, they stated "WWE 2K20 will be developed by Visual Concepts, who have worked with Yuke's on the development of the series since WWE 2K14. As we've continued to invest in the WWE 2K franchise, we've seen the Visual Concepts team display incredible passion, talent and commitment to the future of the series. We thank Yuke's for their years of partnership and are excited to see what the Visual Concepts team brings to the franchise moving forward."
Visual Concepts also works on the critically acclaimed NBA 2K series, and in the past, they handled the animations, writing, and audio for the WWE games, while Yuke's would handle the art, tech, and overall design side. WWE 2K19 was mostly well-received and was a big upgrade over the past installment, so it's unclear why the change is being made now.
As for Yuke's, they confirmed the change in a separate statement to VGC, saying they plan to "continue providing support to 2K with regard to the game engine."
In a previous interview with Yuke's Senior Vice President and Producer Hiromi Furuta, she made it clear how much they loved the franchise and working on the games, though there was also some frustration with the overall development process.
"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," Furuta said. "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."
2K gave us a big glimpse of what's to come in the WWE 2K20, but we're eager to see more, especially now that things have changed in such a big way behind the scenes.
Are you excited for WWE 2K20's new direction? Let us know in the comments and you can always hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things WWE 2K20!