Yuke's new wrestling game will be an original franchise. That sentence might sound like a bit of nonsense to someone not familiar with wrestling video games, but Yuke's (technically Yuke's Co. Ltd.) are the people behind the WWE 2K series of games and have been developing titles about the squared circle for the better part of 20 years. They're going to be making a brand-new wrestling franchise that is completely original — and it's liable to compete with their other titles.
"I think having no competitor isn’t healthy at all," Yuke's Senior Vice President and Producer Furuta told Video Games Chronicle. "When we had competitors in the wrestling space, we were determined not to lose and that was a great motivator for creating something great."
"But 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," she continued. "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."
Ms. Furuta suggests that their relationship with World Wrestling Entertainment is holding back innovation in the genre in some respects. Furthermore, she essentially states that some members of her development team are a little burned out working on what is more or less the same thing year after year. Yuke's new wrestling game is in its very early stages and they still haven't decided if they're going to go for realism or a more fantasy-oriented game. (Well, more fantasy than wrestling normally is, anyway.)
Moreover, Yuke's new wrestling game will likely make use of their proprietary ALiS Zero technology, a new motion-capture method that hasn't yet been implemented for the WWE 2K series of games. According to Ms. Furuta, 2K has not yet allowed them to make use of ALiS Zero in the WWE 2K games. She estimates that it would ultimately save "a lot of man-hours" in development.
The wrestling games genre truly doesn't have much in the way of competition, much like real-world professional wrestling (at least in America). Aside from the WWE 2K games, the only competition lies in indie games like Fire Pro Wrestling World.
Yuke's will continue their relationship with 2K for the foreseeable future, but a desire to be on the cutting edge and add a little variety to their work is seeing them start up some new ventures of their own. Whatever they come up with, it's sure to be an interesting gaming experience.
"We’re not chasing money or trends," Ms. Furuta said. "We’ll go in whatever direction we feel is most interesting, combined with the passion of whoever leads the project. As long as whoever leads the project has enough passion, then I’m sure we will achieve our goals."
What do you think of Yuke's new wrestling game? Do you think they'll have the same success as they did with the WWE 2K franchise? Let us know in the comments below!