The latest news about more releases in WWE have fueled speculation about what those company changes could mean for WWE 2K22.
With the past successes and failures of the series in mind, here's what a potential sale of the company could end up meaning for WWE 2K22.
Speculation that WWE could be sold
There's always rumblings about what a major shift like the sale of WWE to another major company would mean for World Wrestling Entertainment and the wrestling industry as a whole.
Following yet another round of releases, including recent champion Braun Strowman who will now be missing from WWE 2K22, the speculation about a company sale has started brewing once again.
According to a report by Fightful Select, "there is a lot of speculating within about a potential sale down the line, but [Fightful Select has] not heard that from WWE officials."
The lack of official word isn't surprising, as higher ups would likely remain tight lipped about the situation even if the company being sold were on the horizon.
Nick Khan continues to reshape WWE as a company
The former co-head of television with the Creative Artists Agency, Nick Khan was hired by WWE to be the company's president and chief revenue officer in August of 2020.
Since taking charge, Khan has been doing major work restructuring WWE on a corporate level with several changes across the board.
Most recently, Khan brought in three new names for the company's senior leadership team and Khan himself was added to the WWE Board of Directors along with Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and former ESPN Executive VP of Content Connor Schell.
While regime change with new management isn't necessarily a sign on its own, the hasty nature of some of those changes has sparked intrigue.
WWE 2K22 roster will be missing tons of talent from WWE 2K20
Among the changes made by Nick Khan since arriving have been the release of dozens of WWE superstars.
One of the most recent releases, Aleister Black, was cut from the company despite having just been introduced as part of a new storyline on TV and having a new t-shirt that's still on pre order and hasn't even been released.
The biggest name to be released so far has been Braun Strowman, who defeated Goldberg for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 36 just over one year ago and worked with Shane McMahon a few months back at WrestleMania 37.
While it's not known for sure, it's likely both superstars were scanned for WWE 2K22 by Visual Concepts back at Royal Rumble 2021 or WrestleMania 37.
With both gone from the company, they'll join a long list of superstars that were in WWE 2K20 which will be missing from the WWE 2K22 roster.
What other changes could this bring to WWE 2K22?
While talent releases may be bad news for fans, they may bring a bit of silver lining relief to developers as a smaller roster will require less work to make ready for launch.
While exact sales figures are hard to find, one report by VGChartz in early 2019 indicated that first week sales of the WWE 2K series had been steadily declining for several years.
On top of that, Take-Two Interactive Executive Chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick spoke in an earnings call last year and said "WWE 2K20 did not meet our expectations, both in terms of sales and quality."
Declining sales are an increasingly bad sign for a company that is clearly looking for cost-cutting measures, and it may only increase pressure on WWE 2K22.
It's highly unlikely the title will be delayed or cancelled after the extended development cycle and the release of a trailer and behind the scenes videos.
However, the success or failure of WWE 2K22 could ultimately decide the fate of the WWE 2K series moving forward and whether WWE decides to rethink their relationship with Take-Two Interactive.
That would be especially true if WWE is seriously considering the sale of the company, but the WWE 2K series could be at risk even if that possibility remains pure speculation.