Kenny Omega Reveals How AEW Recruited the WWF No Mercy Director for Its First Console Video Game

One of the big announcements during AEW Games' first presentation was that Hideyuki "Geta" Iwashita, the director of the Nintendo 64 classic WWF No Mercy, had signed on to help create the game alongside Japanese developer Yuke's. The announcement came as a shock, especially since the company that created the classic console wrestling games like No Mercy and WCW vs. nWo: Revenge (AKI Corporation) changed its name years ago and now focuses on handheld titles. During the premiere of 2.Show, Omega revealed the events that led to Iwashita signing on.

Omega said because he had such confidence in AEW being a success that he started the groundwork for a video game long before the company's first show.

"When I was still in Japan before relocating to America I actually visited the AKI studios, which is (holds up the No Mercy Cartridge), they did this stuff here," Omega said. "Now AKI is called Syn Sophia and I spoke with the last remaining member from the old AKI team that worked at Syn Sophia. He said, 'You know, a lot of us that had loved to work with wrestling, a lot fo us that loved to program wrestling games, we kind of dispersed and left because we couldn't do it anymore. Because now we're making a lot of animation games for mobile devices.' But he said, 'I'm part of that old experience, I'm part of that old team, and just hearing the prospect of making a wrestling game again really excites me."

Omega said that was initially the end of his pursuit, but months later a friend who works for Square (the Final Fantasy developers) reached out claiming to be friends with Iwashita. They then met via a formal business meeting in Japan, the had multiple meetings in the months that followed. All the while "Geta" indicated he'd be interested in working on the new game. Once Yuke's was on board as a developer, Iwashita signed on.

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"It really like a marriage of two completely different brands. Yuke's had their way of making wrestling games, they made some great wrestling games. [SmackDown vs. Raw] was very fun, very arcade-y. Geta's style, his ideology of making games were little different," Omega said. "Which is why I say it's not going to be quite simulation, not quite arcade-y. It's going to be a speedier version of very realistic wrestling."

Omega could not give a definitive release date on the game, only saying it might come out in the next year or two.