‘Being’ the Elite
There’s a new player in the stagnant world of pro-wrestling video games, as All-Elite Wrestling (AEW) has announced the founding of a brand new gaming division – AEW Games. Revealed during a live stream that featured AEW Executive VPs Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes, referee Aubrey Edwards, and pro-wrestler Dr. Britt Baker, AEW Games also took the opportunity to announce its first three releases.
For consoles, AEW is currently working with Japanese developer Yuke’s on an as-yet-titled pro-wrestling game. As long-time fans will be aware, Yuke’s has a storied history with the genre, having been responsible for classics such as the Shin Nippon Touken Retsuden series, as well as multiple titles in the WWE Smackdown! franchise.
Notably, AEW has also brought on board director Hideyuki “Geta” Iwashita, who was responsible for both Def Jam Vendetta and WWF No Mercy, the latter of which is thought by many as one of – if not the – finest wrestling games of all-time. No platforms nor a release window for the new AEW project was specified, but you can check out some early footage in the video below.
In addition, AEW has announced two new titles for mobile platforms. AEW Elite General Manager will task players with the running of their very own pro-wrestling company, challenging would-be promoters with building and managing a roster of stars, booking cards and pay-per-view events, and attracting and maintaining a worldwide audience. Football Manager for wrasslin’? I’m down. AEW Elite General Manager will launch in early 2021.
More off the beaten path, (and a little grosser), is AEW Casino: Double or Nothing – which is, as the name suggests, a mobile casino title featuring AEW-branded versions of cash-gobbling games such as blackjack, roulette, poker, and slots, all dressed up in AEW’s distinct aesthetic. Developed by social gaming veterans KamaGames, AEW Casino: Double or Nothing is expected to launch this coming winter.
In the wake of a string of – frankly – piss-poor releases from 2K Games’ WWE license, the pro-wrestling genre definitely needs a major shot of adrenaline. With AEW, (and seemingly the next WWE 2K entry), displaying an intent to restore the fun factor of the genre’s early-’00s heyday, hopefully the future is looking brighter for squared circle fans.