Kenny Omega Talks AEW Video Game, Difficulties With 'No Mercy' Style Engine Today

AEW thrilled wrestling video gamers earlier this month when they revealed three video games in development, including a highly anticipated console effort. The game is being developed by Yukes, as well as former WWF No Mercy developer and director Hideyuki Iwashita. Kenny Omega has been given a voice in the development of the game as well; a long time gamer himself who has long been popular in the video game world.

In an interview with Wrestling Observer Radio, Omega discussed the development of the game. Specifically, he talked about the yearning many wrestling fans have had for a game that tries to recapture the magic that games like WWF No Mercy, WWF WrestleMania 2000, and WCW/nWo Revenge had on the N64.

“I am but one of the masses that have cried for a No Mercy style of game for quite some time, about 20 years, believe it or not," Omega said. "There hasn't been any sort of wrestling game that has captured that magic. I know of a lot of wrestlers, wrestling fans, even guys that are just video game fans that don't even watch wrestling anymore but they play those games still.

“Generally speaking, we have the epitome of what a wrestling simulator can be, which is sort of the 2K style, and that's what WWE is featuring and I always felt that No Mercy was sort of a larger than life version of what wrestling is. But still when you would perform the movements, you know, the wrestling moves and the way that guys would run the ropes, the way the guys would bump, the way that guys would sell, that actually always felt more real to me than what a wrestling simulator looked like. That was always sort of my favorite engine and style. Do I think it works One hundred percent in the year 2020? No. Nowadays, people probably want something that's a little faster, but they want something that feels kind of similar to that experience, and they want something that's easy to pick up and play.”

The pick up and play aspect of No Mercy was certainly one of the appeals of the game. Virtually anyone could start playing it and have a little success, with the controls not being overly difficult. At the same time, dedicated gamers were rewarded by discovering unique ways to performs moves within the game which could give them a leg up on the competition, while impressing at the same time.

Omega talked about how the next generation console controllers of today could impact what the AEW video game plays like, making it a unique experience from what No Mercy offered while still offering some nostalgia.

"As you know, nothing is like the N64 controller, there's nothing that's even close," Omega explained. "But it's close enough where you can create a control schematic that will feel a lot like the No Mercy style and now sort of the struggle is that the difference between today's wrestling and the wrestling of our yesteryear is that things are more complex and some guys have a move set that you can't even -- you don't have enough buttons to map to. So that's the biggest concern.”

He continued, "The biggest challenge is for the guys, like, for example, like Rey Fenix, he comes up with something new every week, you know what I mean? What's this guy's move set going to be? Because we can have 1,000 buttons on a controller and we wouldn't have enough. So how do you map a move set and buttons to layout on a controller? That's easy to pick up, easy to execute, and when you're playing, you still feel like Rey Fenix. That's sort of the biggest challenge because, in the year 2020, wrestling's a lot different than what it was like 20 years ago. So I want it to feel like No Mercy. I want it to move like No Mercy, control like No Mercy. But the reality of the situation is a lot of the moves that guys performing in today's world weren't even included in the game back in the day. So having to animate these new maneuvers, having to go over new physics and the way that guys go about performing moves, that's sort of the new challenge. Making that old reliable engine that people still love to this day, make it work and make it seem fluid and non-glitchy, which is the rough part because a lot of the stuff is very good. There's a lot of complex stuff that happens in today's pro-wrestling.”

I was able to speak to GameStop TV's Okaydrian the night that that AEW video game news dropped and we had a great discussion on some unique ways the AEW game can appeal to the masses, while also talking about the appeal of a No Mercy style game. You can check that interview out at this link.

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H/T to Fightful for the transcription.