“Core gameplay is one of the major investments we’re making in the next installment,” Gilmore says. “We are looking at much-loved previous games like No Mercy or Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain, along with top franchise installments, and more modern wrestling and fighting games to build an all-new philosophical foundation for the game.”
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Gilmore also shared some examples of what those philosophical foundations entail. For example, the team is working on “Accessibility, Depth and Wrestling Experience,” and intends to make the game “a lot smarter about what the player is trying to do given a gameplay situation (in a grapple, on the ropes, against a turnbuckle, etc.)”
The goal appears to be a deeper level of gameplay and systems that allow players to anticipate and counter their opponents while new players will be able to “accidentally pull off awesome moves just by playing with and experimenting with controls” before improving.In other parts of the AMA Gilmore shared some smaller details like how the dev team is looking into features like mod support and cross-platform play, but could not confirm if those features will make it into the final game. Gilmore also mentioned that WWE 2K20 will not be supported with additional content while the team is developing the next WWE title.
WWE 2K20 was the last wrestling sim and was developed by Visual Concepts after 2K split with its longtime wrestling game dev partner Yuke’s. Although there won’t be a new WWE 2K game this year, the company announced WWE 2K Battlegrounds, a more arcade-style take on wrestling that will be released later this year.
Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN.