What’s happening with WWE 2K22?
Is the game going to release during its normal window? There are reasons to believe the game could land later than on the calendar than normal.
If the release time has changed–perhaps permanently–will it be better for the game franchise overall?
A Survivor Series Release Is Starting to Make Less Sense
Traditionally, WWE 2K games have released in mid to late October, and SummerSlam is usually the pay-per-view event that partners with the game’s release and serves as a platform to show a near-final build.
That’s still technically possible as WWE 2K22 is a sponsor for Sunday’s event and there is some speculation about a potential reveal related to the much-anticipated title. However, we haven’t learned anything about the game beyond seeing a sizzle trailer, some generic greyed-out player models’ ring entrances and we also know the slogan, “It Hits Different.”
Usually, by this time, we have more to work with from a content and tease perspective. With so little shared and the traditional release window approaching quickly, it’s easy to wonder if 2K is planning to change things up.
While an October release can’t be discarded until 2K makes an official announcement that says otherwise, there is a logical argument that could be made for the game to drop closer to the Super Bowl of the wrestling industry.
Why A WrestleMania Release Makes Sense
Back in September 2020, I wrote an article examining the possibilities of the game releasing around WrestleMania, and the deeper we get into the wait for solid info on WWE 2K22, the more it appears I might have been on to something.
The article was written prior to learning we wouldn’t be getting a WWE 2K21 title at all, but the canceling of last year’s version mixed with the lack of information on WWE 2K22 further supports my original thought.
I’ve always thought the WWE video games were missing out on an opportunity to market a brand-new game on the industry’s biggest stage by not releasing WWE 2K close to the Showcase of the Immortals. There is no event in wrestling quite as big as WrestleMania.
It’s the event that draws the attention of the casual and hardcore fan. Someone within EA once told me that the EA UFC franchise experiences a significant increase in sales of its latest title every time the MMA promotion has a high-profile pay-per-view event. There words exactly were, “sales always see a significant boost whenever Conor [McGregor] fights.”
I imagine the WWE 2K series could experience a similar bump if its game released near WrestleMania. When you combine that somewhat organic pop with the increased interest that will be there because of what would be a two-year absence for the series, the WWE and 2K might have something even more significant.
Taking advantage of WWE 2K fans thirst and their dual interest in gaming and sports entertainment isn’t the only reason to release the game around WrestleMania. During the first 4-5 months of the year, very few major titles release. The only strong annual sports title that comes out during that time is MLB The Show, which usually drops a week or so before WrestleMania.
By occupying a release week closer to its primary license’s biggest show, WWE 2K could also find a spot on the video games release calendar that isn’t as crowded as their normal fall date. Lastly, WrestleMania usually marks the end or beginning of the WWE season, so to speak.
If the WWE 2K franchise hopes to function like an annual release monster with live-service appeal, it would be smart to have the game drop at a significant part of the real-life product’s calendar. Again, what’s better than WrestleMania?
We’ll likely find out by this weekend if the game is sticking to a fall release, going to hit retailers later, or if it is delayed indefinitely. All three options could be seen as practical at this point. Stay tuned.