A gaming insider claims WWE 2K21 has been canceled by publisher 2K Games.
Fans of the series know that new installments of the WWE 2K video game franchise have been an annual tradition dating back to 2013 when 2K Sports acquired the exclusive license for the pro wrestling giant. However, the publisher may be taking a year off from the series according to a report from a former writer for past WWE games.
Justin Leeper, an insider who previously wrote story and directed cut scenes for multiple entries into THQ’s WWE Smackdown vs. Raw series, released a video on YouTube over the weekend claiming that the upcoming WWE 2K21 game has been cancelled.
“I have heard from reliable sources and I truly believe that WWE 2K21 has been cancelled. There will be no game this year.”
As Leeper points out in his video, Wrestlemania season has typically been a time when WWE and 2K push out information on their upcoming game. However, Wrestlemania 36 took place earlier this month with nary a mention of a new game.
The WWE 2K series has been subject to controversy in recent years, which could be a major determining factor in a potential hiatus. In 2019, 2K split with longtime series developer Yuke’s in favor of working with Visual Concepts, which had co-developed recent installments of the series. That move came as development for WWE 2K20 had already been well underway and the sudden shift to a new primary developer may have contributed to what was a historically bad launch for the title.
Following the release of WWE 2K20 in October, the hashtag #FixWWE2K20 quickly trended on Twitter in response to a litany of visual glitches and gameplay bugs. The game was so glitchy, in fact, that it has become fodder for memes and YouTube videos poking fun at the launch version’s poor performance. It currently holds a metascore in the 40s across all platforms on Metacritic.
In addition to the development problems that plagued the most recent installment, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could also factor in WWE 2K21‘s possible cancellation. With quarantines and social distancing still being enacted around the globe, work on a myriad of film and gaming projects has been postponed or cancelled outright.
If WWE 2K21 is, in fact, cancelled, WWE fans may still get a new game this year. In the video, Leeper claimed that a WWE title from a different developer may be in the works. In any case, a one-year pause in production could prove beneficial for Visual Concepts, in that the studio could better learn how to develop a major WWE 2K title.