The future of WWE's partnership with 2K is reportedly about to change. According to Justin Leeper, who worked on three installments in the SmackDown vs. Raw series and has released numerous reports on the backstage drama surrounding the development of WWE 2K20, uploaded a new video to his YouTube account on Saturday with the report claiming WWE 2K21 would not be happening and that WWE would be looking to release a different type of game via a new developer later in 2020.
"I have heard from reliable sources, and I truly believe, that WWE 2K21 has been canceled. There will be no game this year," Leeper said.
He later added, "2K is publishing a different kind of WWE game from a different kind of game developer that's not Visual Concepts."
ComicBook.com reached out to a 2K Spokesperson regarding Leeper's claims and released the following statement on Wednesday — "We do not comment on rumors or speculation."
While some fans still enjoyed the game, WWE 2K20 was infamously panned at launch for a wide variety of glitches in matches, entrances and in customization menus. Its Metacritic sits at a lowly 43 compared to WWE 2K19's score of 76, and its poor sales took the bulk of the blame for WWE losing $2 million in revenue in the consumer product's division.
"Revenues decreased to $30.8 million from $32.8 million in the prior year quarter primarily due to lower video game royalties, which were driven by the Company's franchise console game WWE 2K20," WWE CFO Frank Riddick explained during an investor's conference call back in February.
Dog shit video game #WWE2K20’s presence was felt in WWE’s consumer products division: "Revenues decreased to $30.8 million from $32.8 million in the prior year quarter primarily due to lower video game royalties, which were driven by the Company’s franchise console game WWE 2K20" https://t.co/AbTYwTU9zV— Tony Maglio (@TonyMaglio) February 6, 2020
The lineage of WWE's console gaming series traces back to WWF SmackDown on the PlayStation in 2000 and was co-developed by Visual Concepts and Yuke's on an annual basis (first by THQ Games, then by 2K Sports starting in 2013 with WWE 2K14). However in August 2019 the news broke that Visual Concepts would be the sole developer for 2K20, while Yuke's moved on to reportedly start working on its own wrestling game.