2K Games won’t release an annual WWE wrestling sim this year, effectively meaning that WWE 2K21 has been canceled, according to comments made on WWE’s quarterly investor call on Thursday. WWE interim chief financial officer Frank Riddick said “there’s not going to be a launch of a game this year” in response to a question about the release of WWE 2K21.
The cancellation of this year’s WWE 2K game comes after a down year for the franchise. WWE 2K20 was slammed by both critics and fans for its poor technical performance, with widely shared game-breaking (yet often very visually amusing) bugs. Developer Visual Concepts took over for former developer Yuke’s with last year’s game after the Japanese developer left the WWE 2K series to work on its own wrestling project.
The WWE’s apparent confirmation of WWE 2K21’s fate comes about two weeks after a report that 2K wasn’t going to release a wrestling sim in 2020. Justin Leeper, a former writer on the WWE 2K franchise (and the motion capture actor for Death Stranding’s Higgs and Deadman), cited “reliable sources” in a YouTube video in which he said there will be no WWE 2K simulation game this year. In that same video, Leeper said that 2K would publish “a different kind of WWE game from a different kind of game developer that’s not Visual Concepts,” but did not provide specifics.
Shortly after Leeper’s original report, Polygon reached out to 2K. A spokesperson for the company said, “We do not comment on rumors or speculation.” We reached out to 2K again today following the WWE’s investor call for comment, and will update when the publisher responds.
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