WWE 2K20: Working Without Yukes Was A "Freeing Experience"
"I think where it speaks the loudest is what we did with WWE Originals mode."
For years, 2K Games and Visual Concepts have been working with Yukes to evolve the WWE video game series. However, Yukes was not involved with WWE 2K20, which means Visual Concepts had to lead the way, meaning they could explore different avenues for the latest game.
During a WWE 2K20 event recently, GameSpot spoke to Lynell Jinks, creative director of Visual Concepts, about the future ahead for the 2K series, which includes the work done on WWE 2K20, "I think freeing is the first feeling that you get," Jinks explained to GameSpot. "When you realize that now that all the ideas that you had and wanted to pursue are now at your fingertips, that's the first feeling you have. And the second one you have is the reality, where that sets in where you're like, 'Oh, now that it's all ours, that means that we have to write tools and write systems, and actually understand how these things were really put together.' Every system in the game, every piece of code, and every art asset had to go through our pipeline--had to go through us. And it was our responsibility to make sure that we understood everything that we're putting in the game from front to back, right? And this is 20 years of just Yukes' code, Yukes' art, Yukes' pipelines that we had to take apart and understand. Not only understand, but make it ours and try to make it better at the same time, or make it as good as it was."
Jinks went on to say that there are a lot of smaller, newer additions to this year's game, pushing limitations from previous incarnations. It does seem that, in many ways, Yukes was holding Visual Concepts back, not allowing certain areas in this gaming series to be explored, until now.
"I think where it speaks the loudest is what we did with originals," Jinks continued, while discussing the new DLC package WWE Originals. "You look at it, what we do as developers, what we do as the creators of this game, and letting our creativity shine, and letting our passion, what we all sought after coming into the game industry, the games that we wanted to make. Just because we have this WWE license doesn't mean that we have to be a sim all the time. It's like, 'No, there's a place for both.' You're seeing it with NBA, see with The Neighborhood. You're seeing it with a lot of other games it's like, 'You can have a sim but still be fun. You can still be creative, take this license, and provide people with a different experience and different characters.' A spin on an existing character. That's what we were doing."
While there were some issues with the build GameSpot played at a recent 2K event, like horrifying glitches which have been popping up on various feeds today, the WWE Originals pack Bump in the Night was the best part of the new game, adding supernatural and arcade elements to your favorite WWE superstars. The "Bump in the Night" DLC arrives on October 28.
WWE 2K20 is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.