After a much-needed hiatus, WWE 2K22 is coming back. The game was announced at Wrestlemania 37 with the slogan “hits different”, and starred Rey Mysterio and Cesaro. Fans will certainly be hoping that WWE 2K22 is a significant improvement over the disastrous WWE 2K20, which led to WWE 2K21 being canceled.
But what do we know about WWE 2K22 so far? And when can we expect to be back inside the squared-circle, throwing haymakers, making people tap, and delivering electrifying finishers in front of the WWE universe? Let’s find out.
WWE 2K22: cut to the chase
- What is it? A WWE wrestling sim from 2K Games
- When can I play it? TBA
- What can I play it on? No platforms have been announced, but we’d hazard guess that WWE 2K22 will release on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One and PC
WWE 2K22 release date and platforms
WWE 2K22 is definitely happening, despite the series’ future being in doubt after 2K21’s cancellation. The publisher hasn’t provided a release date as of yet, but previous entries in the series have been released in October. That might not be the case for WWE 2K22, due to the fact it’s been in development longer than previous titles, but October is a good shout nonetheless.
The biggest event left on the WWE calendar this year is SummerSlam, which takes place on August 22. This could be an opportune moment for 2K to announce WWE 2K22’s release date to the WWE fans, much like how they announced the game at Wrestlemania 37.
Why was WWE 2K21 canceled?
Back in April 2020, 2K released a statement explaining the sudden cancellation of WWE 2K21, and how it planned to make WWE 2K22 the best game yet.
“We hear you and we know you want more from the franchise, so we are applying what we’ve learned to the next WWE 2K simulation game with a renewed focus on quality and fun,” the publisher said. “As part of that commitment, we are extending the production timeline and will not be releasing a WWE 2K simulation game in 2020. We want to ensure the development team 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.”
There are high hopes, then, that WWE 2K22 will be a return to form for the franchise, but also that it will dramatically improve upon previous entries, which have been rather lackluster.
WWE 2K22 trailers
We’ve rounded up all the WWE 2K22 trailers below for your viewing pleasure, including some interesting insights from the development team which show some of the game’s new technology in action.
WWE 2K22 teaser trailer
The first trailer for WWE 2K22 dropped during Wrestlemania 37 and stars a photorealistic-looking Rey Mysterio and Cesaro battling it out. We get to see Rey performing his famous “619” finisher, along with various close-ups of Rey’s new character model.
WWE 2K22 roster
The WWE roster has changed more than in previous years, partly due to Covid-19 resulting in multiple layoffs. It means that the WWE 2K22 roster may not be nailed down just yet, and could offer a few surprises. The break in development means the roster could look quite different, which should help freshen things up.
Some debutants we’re likely to see include Dominik Mysterio and Angel Garza, with popular NXT wrestlers also making the cut. We’d also expect the usual legends to make an appearance, like The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, as well as prominent superstars like Asuka, AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan.
WWE 2K22 news
WWE 2K22’s cover stars have been chosen… by the fans
While we still don’t know which WWE superstars will grace the game’s cover quite yet, fans have had they say on who they’d like to see. In a poll by the WWE Fox Twitter account, fans voted for Drew McIntyre and Sasha Banks as the superstars they’d like to see on the box.
Will 2K Games agree with the fans selection? We’ll have to wait and see.
We asked and you OVERWHELMINGLY voted @DMcIntyreWWE & @SashaBanksWWE as the cover Superstars for #WWE2k22! 🎮 pic.twitter.com/QpFC4DAlfmMay 12, 2021
WWE 2K22 features over 4,800 new animations and mo-cap studio
WWE 2K22 will feature over 4,800 new animations for this year’s entry, which is over a thousand more than usual. Patrick Gilmore, one of the game dev’s, said that the team was continuing to add more as the game is developed.
We also got to see the game’s new mo-cop studio in action, and Gilmore revealed that it’s two times bigger, which means the team can seamlessly capture moves, entrances and elaborate cutscenes that take place in and out of the ring.
WWE 2K22 has new face-scanning technology
WWE 2K22 will use an all-new face-scanning rig that’s equipped with 80 high-resolution cameras that allow Visual Concepts to create high-precision 3D sculpts of the superstars. The clip below shows WWE stars Booker T and Ric Flair enter the contraption – which looks like Darth Vader’s personal chambers – and pull various faces as they get scanned by the cameras.
To make #WWE2K22 Hit Different, we built a brand new scanning rig, with 80 high resolution cameras and all-new software to map everything to a high-precision 3D sculpt. Can you dig it, sucka? WOOO! pic.twitter.com/a33bIxhoDoMay 19, 2021
WWE 2K22: what we’d like to see
While many wrestling game veterans would like to see WWE 2K22 build upon the rock-solid foundations that games like WWF No Mercy established, most people are clamoring for popular modes that were axed from previous games, like GM Mode from Smackdown vs Raw 2006.
GM Mode let you sign wrestlers, book shows and create feuds, and players were awarded ratings based on how exciting the matches were. In a post on the official 2K forums, which asked fans for their top three requests (which not everyone stuck to), GM Mode was a prominent request.