The cancellation of WWE 2K21 won't come as a huge surprise to the community.
What Vince McMahon and the WWE has up its sleeve next, however, could be a lot more interesting.
WWE 2K21 cancelled
Rumours of cancellation were no surprise following WWE 2K20's criticism, and they were fueled even further by former Smackdown vs Raw writer Justin Leeper has coming forward about the likely cancellation of WWE 2K21.
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Leeper points to inside information from those working on WWE games. He also points to a lack of advertisements for the game at Wrestlemania 36.
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This was then confirmed by WWE’s interim chief financial officer Frank Riddick, as chairman Vince McMahon announced this week as they were asked about the potential release of WWE 2K21.
The response was that ‘there’s not going to be a launch of a game this year’.
No WWE 2K game for Next Gen
This miss means there will be no WWE 2K game for the scheduled release of next-gen consoles. And this could be the case for years to come, as Justin Leeper went on to claim that this may remain the case for WWE 2K22.
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Leeper claims WWE 2K22 would still only be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
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This is a huge blow to wrestling fans ready to see their games brought to life on PS5 and Xbox Series X. But it's not all doom and gloom.
Alternative wrestling games
WWE transitioned their Smackdown vs Raw style games to become WWE 2K in 2012.
While it seems WWE 2K has dropped the ball, wrestling video games are still in a good spot. First off, Leeper does confirm that there's a different WWE game still slated for 2020 release.
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It's reportedly still developed by 2K Games. But along with a potential new series and direction, there could be another wrestling company lying in wait.
All Elite Wrestling (AEW) formed in 2019 to debut weekly television on TBS, AEW Dynamite. AEW has all the makings of WCW, a wrestling company that famously beat WWE in ratings for 84 straight weeks.
Following in WCW's footsteps, AEW could be looking to make a big splash in the video game world.
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There have been several hints made by AEW employees toward the potential of a major video game title in the future. WWE 2K's delay could be a huge moment for AEW that could serve as a perfect entry to the sphere.
And if AEW capitalize, wrestling video games could be the best they've been in decades.
The next WWE video game series
With WWE 2K seemingly shelved, speculation for the other WWE game coming in 2020 has already begun.
We've seen alternate titles before, games like the cartoony and over the top WWE All Stars, and more story-focused games like Day of Reckoning.
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Regardless of the new direction, fans are very excited. For starters, WWE 2K games have been notorious for making it to market with an astronomical amount of bugs. And on top of technical issues, the games feel more like rehashes than new experiences.
Whether it's a new series or new competitor, wrestling video games could have a bright future in 2020 and beyond.
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