After a rough few years, 2K Games may finally be looking forward to a proper reset for their wrestling franchise with WWE 2K22.
Following the abysmal release of WWE 2K20 and compounded struggles with the global pandemic, the franchise completely cancelled WWE 2K21.
Fortunately, the outlook is better for WWE 2K22, and here's everything we currently know.
WWE 2K22 Release Date
There is currently no official release date for WWE 2K22, and we don't actually have confirmation yet from 2K Games that the game is even happening.
When WWE 2K20 faced significant launch issues, 2K Games took the massive step of cancelling the planned WWE 2K21 release.
They could put things off for another year, but it's unlikely WWE or 2K Games wants to lose out on yet another release after these last two major setbacks.
While 2K Games did put out WWE 2K Battlegrounds in 2020, that arcade-styled title existed separate of the regular WWE 2K series and brought a very different type of gameplay.
Every single installment of the WWE 2K series since 2K Games took control of the franchise in 2013 has released in October, so a release date in late October 2021 is probably a safe bet.
We also don't yet have a reveal trailer for WWE 2K22, but we can look back at previous years to get an idea of when we might get to see one.
The reveal trailer for WWE 2K20, the last WWE release by 2K Games, dropped on August 5, 2019.
This was just under one week before the pay-per-view event WWE SummerSlam 2019, which could very well be a pattern they repeat this year.
READ MORE: WWE 2K20 soundtrack revealed
There's not yet an official date for WWE SummerSlam 2021, nor do we know if the event will get to be held in front of a live audience, but we should get a reveal trailer close to that show if WWE 2K22 is on track.
There's a chance we'll find out about the cover superstar of WWE 2K22 before we actually get a reveal trailer, as WWE has announced that a few months earlier than the reveal trailer in the past.
WWE 2K18 featured Seth Rollins as the cover superstar. WWE 2K19 went with AJ Styles, and WWE 2K20 chose a dual-pairing with Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch.
Looking at the landscape of WWE right now, the most likely choices seem to be Sasha Banks or another cover for Roman Reigns.
WWE superstars recorded voiceovers at the Royal Rumble
While updates are still quite scarce, the most recent news about WWE 2K22 comes through Mike Johnson of PWInsider.
In a report on the same day as WWE Royal Rumble 2021, Johnson states representatives from 2K Games were going to be at the arena to record voiceovers and that there are plans for most, and perhaps all, of the roster to be scanned for the series.
It's the first news we've heard about WWE 2K22 since a Reddit Q&A was done by WWE 2K Executive Producer Patrick Gilmore on May 29, 2020.
Features and Game Modes
One of the biggest questions about WWE 2K22 that remains unanswered is exactly which features and game modes it might have.
While nothing is official, the Reddit Q&A with Patrick Gilmore provided lots of great bits of information about where their focus is throughout development.
In one of his answers, Gilmore provided these six pillars that indicate their primary focus in developing future games for the WWE 2K series.
- Core Gameplay: making the superstar vs. superstar gameplay the best it's ever been.
- Emergence: leveraging physics and more generic object/environment systems to enable spectacular gameplay that players feel in control of
- WWEX (WWE Experience): delivering an end-to-end true WWE experience in all aspects of the game, from UI and wrapper, to superstars, match types and story modes.
- Online: improving all aspects of the online experience.
- Character: make the best looking superstars of all time.
- Create: Upgrade the creation suite, and make our community creation tools feel like magic to use.
Unfortunately, this leaves things unclear about whether the fan-favorite GM Mode will return to the series or what the Universe Mode from recent versions might look like moving forward.
Considering the major flaws that hampered the release of WWE 2K20, it's probably a good thing that 2K Games is focusing on these core pieces to ensure they deliver an enjoyable and working product with WWE 2K22.