Wrestling Goes Full-On Wacky With Bizarre WWE 2K Battlegrounds Trailer

April 27, 2020 6:47 PM UTC
WWE 2K21 is dead. In its place, we're getting WWE 2K Battlegrounds - a new "social-focused" game which looks completely insane.
  • WWE 2K21 was canceled after the hilariously-awful WWE 2K20 fared poorly.
  • In the absence of a “normal” WWE game, a “social-focused” title called WWE 2K Battlegrounds will release this fall.
  • While it’s nice to get a placeholder, there are a few red flags surrounding Battlegrounds.

Don’t look now, but WWE might finally be becoming self-aware. It was only the other day that WWE 2K21 was effectively canceled, and we already have a new game to bridge the gap: WWE 2K Battlegrounds.

WWE 2K Battlegrounds has a noticeably more cartoonish art style than the traditional simulation series. That’s unsurprising, given that it’s being developed by Saber Interactive – the team behind NBA Playgrounds.

While the new game is sure to give the main series a long-needed break, the red flags are already popping up.

Source: Twitter

WWE 2K Battlegrounds Has a Worrisome ‘Social’ Focus

The biggest red flag surrounding WWE 2K Battlegrounds is the term “social pick-up-and-play fun.” While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that term, it does conjure horrific memories of Farmville and Candy Crush Saga.

That’s even more concerning because the over-the-top character design and gameplay actually do look intriguing. I’d hate to see that ruined by the same randomized mobile game trash that we’ve seen trotted out time and time again.

That said, we still don’t know what platform(s) WWE 2K Battlegrounds will launch on. Based on the trailer graphics, it looks like something that would run on mobile, but it wouldn’t necessarily seem out of place on a console either.

At Least the Main Series Has Some Breathing Room

But even if enduring a WWE mobile game is the trade-off for not having to suffer through WWE 2K21, then I’d say it’s a fair bargain. With an entire extra year to sort out the wrestling sim’s development, 2K should hopefully be able to avoid another mess like WWE 2K20.

Even 2K hints at this in the Battlegrounds announcement. Clearly, the publisher knows its last wrestling title was a massive failure. Strip away the corporate-speak, and they’re basically saying that they’re giving developer Visual Concepts an extra year to make sure WWE 2K22(?) doesn’t suck.

We want to ensure the development team at Visual Concepts can create a great game that will entertain grizzled WWE 2K veterans, as well as newcomers who want to climb through the ropes and step into the ring for the very first time.

While WWE 2K Battlegrounds is unlikely to be a worthy replacement for the main series, it’s nice to know that when the series comes back, it should be better than ever.

Or at least better than we remember.

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William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Visit his website, contact him at william.worrall@ccn.com, see his LinkedIn profile here, or check him out on Muck Rack.