For a long time the WWE has thought that the reason people buy their video games is the same reason people even watch the WWE anymore, they think that taking a video game and putting John Cena, Roman Reigns, or a “classic” Shawn Michaels or Triple H from the “Attitude Era” and put them as playable characters and millions of people will buy the game and make the WWE a lot of money. They’ve been doing that for years. The WWE has paired up with some video game makers and pumped out the same game over and over again and it sells a lot of copies every year. And honestly maybe that is the problem, they have been doing the SAME GAME year after year for a number of years. From the days when the games were “Smackdown V/S Raw” to the current games of “WWE 2020,” They have been releasing the same game with some minor changes for a long time.
And here is the thing, you know those “minor changes” I mentioned that have changed over the years? Usually, it means taking something out of the game and releasing a new game the next year. Things like adding your own music to a wrestler’s entrance, making a create a wrestler that isn’t a bodybuilder and is fat, or hell, having a match between a man and a woman. Stuff like that. All that stuff that old video games from the WWE franchise used to have, but took all that out with “changes in business” that the WWE implemented over the years that have made their video games not as much fun as they used to be.
I have been playing games since Wrestlemania on the old NES system, so I’ve been around for a while, but I’m not going that far back in time. But a good example of what I mean is say the RAW 2 video game on the original Xbox System. Granted, you couldn’t create championship belts like you can in the modern games, but you could create a sumo wrestler sized guy to lumber around the ring with, a woman that actually wrestled and defeated guys regularly, or give them their own music to come to the ring with. It may not seem like much but creating a wrestler kind of losses a lot of its appeal if they are introduced to someone else’s music.
One of the complaints about the wrestling we see on TV is that the WWE doesn’t have any real competition. Sure, there are plenty of alternatives like AEW, New Japan, or Ring of Honor but nothing at the level of WWE, and even in video games that has made things a certain way. Most game companies don’t want anything to do with wrestling video games and the ones who do think the WWE games are how it is done and kowtow to the company’s or Vince McMahon’s decisions, even if it is not a WWE game, to begin with.
There are some others out there, Chikara wrestling has said they will release a game soon, but Chikara isn’t the most realistic wrestling either. They may be good if you don’t mind comic book style wrestling in your games, but if you want something more realistic then you may be waiting longer and not hit the mark either. New Japan Pro Wrestling has released some games as well, but even with the western influence of their shows on AXS TV, those games aren’t coming to the United States too fast either, and NJPW doesn’t deal with women at all so they aren’t much of an alternative to American wrestling gamers either.
So there really isn’t much out there for people like me, We don’t want the PC and sterilized repeats that the WWE releases nowadays. The alternatives are either coming out of Japan or so radicalized and fantasy, the wrestling is only part of the game.
I guess for creative minds like mine, we are going to have to wait some more before something comes out for video game systems that spark our interest or does something different, What that ends of being are a mystery.