AEW Games, All Elite Wrestling's gaming division, announced back on Nov. 10 that its first console game would be developed alongside Japanese game developer Yuke's and WWF No Mercy director Hideyuki "Geta" Iwashita. The Yuke's announcement came as quite a surprise since the company had been the developer behind the WWE's console installments since WWF SmackDown! on the original PlayStation in 2000. The developer even stuck with the franchise after it made the jump from THQ to 2K Sports beginning with WWE 2K14 in 2013. The developer departed from its working relationship with WWE following the release of WWE 2K19, stating at the time it was unhappy with the direction of the franchise.
Following the split, the Yuke's executives announced they were developing a new professional wrestling IP, now revealed to be the untitled AEW game. In a new interview with Video Games Chronicle, Yuke's senior vice president and producer Hiromi Furuta said she does not see this game's launch as the start of a rivalry with WWE's annual title.
"My goal is simply to create high-quality pro-wrestling games that are loved by the community," she said. "I do not think of it as being a rivalry with WWE, but rather as us creating a new product with AEW. I still love the WWE and respect its talent."
She then discussed Iwashita's involvement in the project.
"Mr. Iwashita was one of the members essential to assembling the greatest pro-wrestling game team that Kenny Omega had envisioned," Furuta said. "After AKI stopped making WWE wrestling games, part of their former team joined Yuke's and worked on our games with us. We thus think of [Iwashita] as a reliable member for creating wrestling games. Fans of pro-wrestling games love No Mercy's game system, so it will undoubtedly serve as key inspiration for us."
In an interview with ComicBook earlier this year, Omega explained what has been missing from more recent wrestling titles compared to the beloved retro classics of the late 90s to early 2000s.0comments
"For me it's a feeling of actually performing a match," Omega said. "It's a feeling of impact with each maneuver. I also feel that, a big thing with No Mercy was that when you did a maneuver by a particular wrestler, the way it was performed and the way it the opponent received the move looked perfect in every single animation. That's because the artists back then, they weren't using green screens, they weren't using MoCap they were actually manipulating joints frame by frame by frame by frame while watching tape of said performer doing that maneuver to an actual opponent.
"There's a big difference," he added. "I know there's a lot of good athletes out there and I'm sure that there are a lot of people that do and can do a V-Trigger, but if it doesn't quite look like the way I do mine the way that I did the Kotaro Crusher, when I do the One Winged Angel it shows. Even if it's similar, it still doesn't feel the same. It doesn't feel right. I think that is what's missing in games, you just don't actually feel like you are the superstar, that you've chosen to control."