AEW Games made a string of monumental announcements today with the launch of All Elite Wrestling’s gaming division, but none seems as big as their partnership with Yuke’s and Hideyuki Iwashita, the Director of WWF No Mercy, for an upcoming console game.
All Elite Wrestling has only been around as a wrestling promotion since early 2019, but in their short time since going live as a weekly broadcast on the TNT Network in October 2019 they’ve become legitimate competition for industry juggernaut WWE.
AEW Dynamite, the flagship of All Elite Wrestling, has even been consistently defeating WWE’s head-to-head Wednesday night show WWE NXT in the ratings on a weekly basis. Now, All Elite Wrestling looks to grow their presence in the wrestling media landscape with the launch of AEW Games.
The announcement came on 10 November 2020, and the 20-minute YouTube video revealed three different games already in the works. The launch was primarily led by AEW Co-Executive Vice President Kenny Omega, but also included Project Coordinator Aubrey Edwards who will lead the mobile gaming division of AEW Games.
AEW Games reveals AEW Elite General Manager
On the mobile side, AEW revealed an exciting new product. Their mobile gaming highlight, AEW Elite General Manager, is one that’s highly anticipated by wrestling fans. The game will allow fans to operate as the person running a wrestling company, and they’ll be challenged to plan the events themselves, handle contracts, be careful with their money, etc.
General Manager Mode, or GM Mode, was popularized with WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006. Despite the popularity of the game mode, the feature was removed only a few years later, and has yet to return in its original form to any of WWE’s future games.
In the years since the mode was removed from WWE’s games, fans have constantly requested and hoped it would get added back in. We’ve seen different versions of it, but nothing that ever captured the competitive challenge of the original GM Mode, which AEW Elite General Manager looks like it will aim to do.
Yuke’s and WWF No Mercy Director team up for console game
While the mobile release should be fun, the most exciting news came as AEW Games announced that a console game is in development for next-gen and current-gen systems. While details were scarce, they showed a trailer that showcased a glimpse of what the final product might look like.
The trailer showed just a bit of in-ring action, but the models seem fairly realistic and the interaction between them points to what could be a very well-received game. While there are a few other wrestling games on the market, such as Fire Pro Wrestling, few garner the type of mainstream presence that WWE games have gotten in recent years.
Unfortunately, WWE’s most recent installments have fallen short in sales and received relatively abysmal reviews considering what the company had hoped for. Their most recent game, WWE 2K20, struggled largely due to the loss of Yuke’s Co. Ltd. as a game developer.
The revelations from AEW Games today have confirmed that Yuke’s, which worked with WWE for nearly two decades, will be working with All Elite Wrestling to develop their upcoming console game. Yuke’s has developed more than 20 different wrestling games for WWE and other wrestling titles as far back as 1995.
The other key figure working with AEW Games for this untitled upcoming console release is Hideyuki Iwashita, who was the Director of WWF No Mercy. Released in 2000 for the Nintendo 64, WWF No Mercy was a commercial and critical success.
In the two decades since its release, WWF No Mercy has continued to be a favorite of wrestling fans and is believed by many to be the gold standard of wrestling games which modern versions are often compared to.
While development of All Elite Wrestling’s first console game is still early, it’s very good news for fans that they’ve brought together the experienced development team at Yuke’s and the mind behind the beloved WWF No Mercy.
No official dates or further details were revealed for the upcoming console game, but everyone in the presentation said to keep an eye on AEW Games on Twitter and YouTube as further developments are revealed.