WWE 2K’s New Executive Producer Answers Fan Questions
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WWE 2K’s new executive producer Patrick Gilmore is trying to build a stable relationship with fans and has been actively involved in conversation with players of the franchise. We reported a few weeks ago on the most requested changes to the series that was revealed online by Patrick.
An AMA was recently completed on reddit that was hosted by Patrick where he took the time to answer fan’s questions about the series. Anything was fair game although Gilmore was strategic about which questions he answered and how he answered them. Take a look at some of the questions and answers below:
Why doesn’t WWE 2K do monthly updates to the game similar to NBA 2K?
My most recent experience is from a more “game as a service,” model, where the game is always live, and updates are constant. I think it’s a great way to develop. I would say that it’s part of the long term franchise vision to move in that direction, but it’s not something that can happen overnight. Internally, we talk obsessively about being more current with new superstars, gimmick changes and so forth. The main thing I can commit to is ongoing improvement!
What are some aspects of gameplay overhaul that the WWE 2K team is working on?
Core gameplay is one of the major investments we’re making in the next installment—one of six pillars we are focused on disproportionately in development. We are looking at much-loved previous games like No Mercy or Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain, along with top franchise installments, and more modern wrestling and fighting games to build an all-new philosophical foundation for the game. People who hope that we holistically adopt the control scheme or philosophy from one of their favorite games are likely to be disappointed; we are trying to combine the best ideas out there into a brand new wrestling experience that sets a new standard. The game play team is focused on Accessibility, Depth and Wrestling Experience. For Accessibility, we’re obsessed with a simple, intuitive interface which has meaning and depth in a wide variety of contexts—i.e. the game is a lot smarter about what the player is trying to do given a gameplay situation (in a grapple, on the ropes, against a turnbuckle, etc.), with consistent inputs regardless of situation. New players should be able to accidentally pull off awesome moves just by playing with and experimenting with controls. For Depth, we’re looking a lot at ring position, deeper combos and “working” moves, limb damage, technical capabilities, match momentum and unlocks, and rock-paper-scissors (RPS) strategies by archetype and player style. Depth doesn’t come from the manual skill of pressing the proper buttons but from the psychological game of anticipating and countering your opponent’s strategy, and this needs to be built in from the very foundation, so expect a significant evolution in gameplay with the next installment.
Will there be any additional updates to 2K19 or 2K20 while fans wait the next installment?
My best answer to new patches for 2K20 is, “Probably not.” I know that’s disappointing news to many of you, so I hope you’ll let me elaborate. I joined the team four months after the launch of 2K20. At the five-month mark, the team had delivered six major patches (seven if you count the Day 1 patch), and four installments of downloadable content. We reached a point where the biggest issues we were seeing had to do with memory overruns with custom characters and arenas. Fixing these issues would require us to change file formats, branching our code in such a way that improvements to 2K20 wouldn’t carry forward into the next game (and could potentially invalidate existing community creations). We were also facing the reality that maintaining older code was preventing us from making bigger, more comprehensive changes that were required to set a new direction. Finally, given we had made the decision to skip a year before the next release, we had used almost half of the additional time we had to make the next project great.
Why doesn’t the game allow players to customize the hair, beard, and makeup of in-game superstars?
As you might imagine, likeness rights are highly sensitive where real people are involved. We work closely with our partners in WWE on the portrayal of their Superstars. As with any organization, they put a lot of effort into how their talent is portrayed. That being said, if changes to a Superstar’s gimmick happen in time to make it into the game, we’ll attempt to make those changes.
Would WWE 2K ever partner with Spotify to allow the availability of custom music?
We’ve had discussions about importing custom music, and it can be a bit of a legal snarl. As creators ourselves, we have to take care when it comes to the rights of other creators (i.e. musicians). For most music, the original artist retains the right to synchronize picture to the music, so we need to take care to offer the feature in the right way. I can’t commit to anything right now, but it’s on our list of things to explore.
Why does GM Mode always get skipped over or ignored even though it has been the most requested feature for almost 5 years?
GM Mode is one of the most requested features we get. I can say that my message to the team was, “We’re not just going to trot out a mode from 2008 without bringing something new.” Top minds are thinking about that right now. Top. Minds.
Commentators often repeat the same lines and the crowd is often being unrealistic. What is being done to improve on this?
Regarding commentary, we are aware of this and we are working on creating much improved and enhanced reactions to better suit each situation. The past two cycles we have made progress on a new foundation to build on, and we’re focused on expanding content to support more situations in our next title. As for crowd, we are currently updating our crowd systems to sound fuller and more responsive to specific action taking place. Addressing repetition in content is a major focus for the commentary team and something we’re excited about as it’s a major part of bringing realism to the experience and a more organic representation of broadcast. Both interruption and branching commentary elements, along with repetition in content is a major focus for the next title.
For more questions and answers, check out the full article here. What do you think about 2K’s answers? Are you gaining more faith in them to produce a good game sometime in 2021?