Kenny Omega wants All Elite Wrestling’s first major console video game to accomplish what others have failed to do.
“I think it’s a very thin line between simulation and sort of an arcading feeling,” Omega said in a phone interview. “You have to thread it very carefully. And I think people have tried to find that balance. I really think they have and they just haven’t been able to do it.”
The AEW world champion and one of the promotion’s executive vice presidents wants the game, which he has said they hope will be available in the first quarter of 2022, to have a pick-up-and-play ability Omega feels others have lacked. He also plans to give gamers regular updates to the roster, arenas and wrestlers’ gear.
“You want it to be fun and you want it feel like when you want to do a move you can do it and you can do it easily,” said Omega, who is playing a major role in the game’s development.
The most recent WWE offerings from 2K have gone with a more simulation feel. Omega wants this game to have more of a feel like an old wrestling arcade game or the WWF “No Mercy” and “WrestleMania 2000” games made by THQ for the Nintendo 64 in the early 2000s.
“I could plug in a quarter at an arcade and my friends that no longer watch wrestling or, maybe they never did, could get four players on a “[WWF] WrestleFest” arcade game and we could all have a lot of fun with it,” said Omega, who will face Jon Moxley at an exploding barbed wire deathmatch at the Revolution pay-per-view on Sunday.
A big difference Omega has planned is regular updates to the game, similar to other sports titles that provide organic roster updates. WWE’s recent games have offered additional downloadable content with legends and superstars missing from the original roster at an extra cost. Omega wants the AEW’s scheduled updates to potentially include new arena sets, wrestlers’ gear, T-shirts, hair and other cosmetic changes if they happen in real life. He references Cody Rhodes’ neck tattoo as an example. Certain circumstances could also call for something more immediate.
“There is sort of the conundrum of, let’s say next week on “[AEW] Dynamite” Paul Wight shows up,” Omega said. “Paul Wight shows up and this is something that happened and this is something that fell into our laps out of nowhere. People might want that character now and we sort of need to have an update ready for people as soon as possible and not kind of go, well actually, jeez we just kind of updated so we’ll get him on the next update three months from now. We want to sort of have a system in place. When there’s these high demand situations we can still pump out something right away for people.”
AEW’s game is being made by Japanese developer Yuke’s, which worked on WWE’s offering with 2K up only until 2019, and with veteran wrestling game producer Hideyuki “Geta” Iwashita. He was behind “Virtual Pro Wrestling and “WWF New Mercy.”