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There's More Drama To WWE 2K22 Than You Realized

The WWE has officially announced when the next entry in its wrestling simulator is coming, but there are reportedly issues between the game's developers and the wrestling league. As reported by Sports Gamers Online, the relationship between the two groups has been strained, partially due to game delays. "WWE 2K22" is releasing in March 2022 instead of the expected launch window of Fall 2021.

According to Sports Gamers Online's sources, the WWE wanted the game to release in the usual window, in line with its Survivor Series. However, 2K Sports and developer Visual Concepts wanted to delay the game into March 2022 in order to deal with the constantly changing roster. Visual Concepts has been working on the new game, scanning professional wrestlers and designing their characters in the game. However, the WWE released a ton of wrestlers from its roster in 2021, so the game was destined to have either a very outdated roster or be delayed.

Of course, the recent history of 2K-branded WWE games has also put a strain on development, since there's pressure to get it right.

WWE 2K22 needs to be a return to form

For those unaware, there was not a "WWE 2K21" game released last year. The reason for this was that "WWE 2K20" performed poorly, due to it releasing in a poor state filled with bugs. 2K instead released "WWE 2K Battlegrounds" in 2020, a more arcade style game that still flopped. 2K Sports and Visual Concepts took an extra year to work on the new game, something that the WWE was not happy about. Now, according to Sports Gamers Online's sources, the WWE has demanded that "WWE 2K22" releases in a much better state, but that it needs to release when WWE wants it to.

The WWE reportedly told 2K Sports that it was in talks with other publishers to take over the game, as a way to strong-arm the developer into complying with its demands.

"It was like threats to cancel cable," one source said. "Threats would come out of them claiming to have interest from one company here or there. I don't know how credible that was though, or just idle threats."

Despite the pressure from the WWE, Visual Concepts has struggled with being underfunded and understaffed during development, in addition to hardships of working on the game during a global pandemic. While the delay was ultimately a relief for the developer, there is still a ton of pressure for this next game to deliver.