WWE’s up-and-coming rival AEW (All Elite Wrestling) has announced its first video game, by way of an official trailer which you can watch below. It shows long-time WWE favourite Chris Jericho doing battle with Kenny Omega, and a male vs female match in which Omega gets his backside handed to him by AEW women’s champion Hikaru Shida.
The game is being made by Japanese developer Yuke’s, who helmed WWE’s sim series from 2000 until an acrimonious split from current publisher 2K last year – which led to the abominable WWE 2K20. The larger-than-life visuals look like a mix between cult favourite WWF No Mercy and the more arcade-style WWE All Stars.
The announcement of Yuke’s as developer brings an end to longstanding rumours that the original No Mercy team was working in conjunction with AEW. Then known as AKI Corporation and now called Syn Sophia, it had been heavily – and, clearly, incorrectly – linked to the project for over a year.
However, one key member of that team, Hideyuki “Geta” Iwashita, has come aboard to work on the new AEW sim.
In addition to Jericho, Omega and Shida a host of former WWE wrestlers are guaranteed to appear in the game, such as Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose), Miro (Rusev) and Brodie Lee (Luke Harper). You can see a full rundown of who GR expects to feature in our detailed set of AEW roster profiles.
"I want to reimagine games," says Omega. "I want to give wrestling fans the games that they want. I want to give the wrestling fans the game that they deserve. I want a game to be fun. I want a game to be easy to pick up but difficult to master. I want it to be like how NBA Jam used to be. NFL Blitz. Dare I say it, Ken Griffey Jr's Home Run Derby."
As well as the sim game, AEW has announced two additional new titles: AEW Elite General Manager, in which you get to book your own real-world federation, and a mobile game called AEW Casino Double or Nothing.
"It's amazing to think that less than two years ago, we sent shockwaves through the professional wrestling industry with the launch of AEW, and now we are rolling out our new revolutionary games,” says CEO Tony Khan.
"We make a point to listen to our fans, and we know that a rejuvenated and immersive gaming experience is critical to the overall wrestling experience. It's going to be cool to see our fans enjoying a next-gen console wrestling game that actually implements their feedback. This is just the beginning of a new era of gaming for wrestling fans around the world.”
Specific formats and release dates are still TBC, though given Khan's comments PS5 and Xbox Series X versions feel highly likely.