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WWE 2K23 Creative Director on How AEW Fight Forever Drove Developers to Improve

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WWE 2K23 is set for release on March 17 and will look to build off of the significant improvements the WWE 2K series made with the WWE 2K22 installment last year. But the game won’t be the only pro wrestling release scheduled for the current generation of consoles and PC this year, as All Elite Wrestling’s first console game AEW Fight Forever is set for release later this year. That game is being developed by Yuke’s, the same company that worked alongside Visual Concepts on the series up until its departure in 2018. The decision to leave the project is often cited as what led to the widely-criticized WWE 2K20 back in 2019. 

WWE 2K23 Creative Director Lynell Jinks spoke with WCCF Tech recently about the release and how the series will have some competition this year. Jinks seemed to welcome the idea. 

“We bounced back with 2K22, and you look at the reception we received, that game was kind of like wrestling in a nutshell, right? It’s, like, the comeback story. Now we’re trying to keep our spot on top and we have competition coming, and it’s even more important for us to keep thinking outside of the box and improving every single year,” Jinks said.

“I love competition,” he added. “I started on NBA 2K, I spent 10 years on it, and at that time, we were going against NBA Inside Drive. Then we were going against [NBA] ShootOut and NBA Live, and every year, we would look at what they did and be, like, “that’s interesting” or “they did this better than us.” That only makes our games better. Same thing you can say about wrestling in general — having competition, to me, it’s no coincidence that the storylines [in WWE] have been the best they’ve been in a long time. I think it’s because of that competition. It’s the same with video games. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re gonna do that’s going to drive us to be even stronger.”

Kenny Omega, one of AEW’s executive vice presidents who helped with Fight Forever‘s development, has stated openly in interviews that AEW’s game won’t be attempting to match WWE 2K in terms of visuals. Which game are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments! 

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