WWE 2K20 is a professional wrestling video game developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. It was released worldwide on October 22, 2019 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It is the twenty-first game in the WWE game series and the seventh under the WWE 2K banner. The sequel to WWE 2K19, 2K20 is the first game in the series to not be developed by Yuke's, which developed every entry in the series since its inception in 2000. They were replaced by Visual Concepts, who had previously worked with Yuke's as co-developers.
WWE 2K20 received negative reviews, with critics noting a regression in quality compared to its predecessor. The game has since gained notoriety in both the wrestling and gaming community for its many bugs at launch and technical issues. The game's successor, WWE 2K Battlegrounds, was released in September 2020 to mixed reviews.
WWE 2K20's 2K Showcase mode revolves around the Four Horsewomen of WWE (Bayley, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks). Players take control of different unique models of Bayley, Banks, Lynch & Flair, in 15 matches. The 2K Towers mode, first introduced in WWE 2K19, made its return to the series. WWE 2K20 features a female MyCareer story alongside its male story, the first for 2K. (Previous THQ games had female career/stories)
WWE 2K20 is the first game in the series to be solely developed by Visual Concepts; previous entries were co-developed by Yuke's. Eminem was reported to be curating the soundtrack of the game early in development, but talks with the rapper fell through after the news was leaked before it was made official.
On August 5, 2019, 2K announced WWE 2K20, with a trailer announcing Becky Lynch and Roman Reigns as cover stars. In the trailer, it features various WWE Superstars & Legends attending a party at a huge mansion, before it's interrupted by Becky crashing through the glass ceiling. Becky then apologizes to the mansion's owner, who is revealed to be Hulk Hogan. Becky then turns around to face Reigns, who soon praises her for the scene, before then revealing them as the cover stars and the tagline "Step Inside". This marks the first game in the WWE 2K series to feature a female cover star (most recently, THQ's WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 featured Torrie Wilson on the NTSC cover of the game), and the first game since WWE All Stars to have more than one cover star.
On August 15, 2019, 2K announced four DLC expansions were going to be released for the game under the banner "WWE 2K Originals", which include Showcase episodes, arenas, and character skins and accessories based on fantasy settings. All DLC expansions (except for "Bump in the Night") were made available as part of a season pass, while the season pass was bundled with the Deluxe and SmackDown 20th Anniversary Edition SKUs of the game. The first, "Bump in the Night" (which was also included as a pre-order bonus), is a horror-themed expansion centered upon Bray Wyatt's "The Fiend" persona, the second expansion "Wasteland Wanderers" is a dystopian-themed expansion centered upon Seth Rollins, the third is based on WWE's digital series Southpaw Regional Wrestling (a parody of local wrestling promotions in the 1980s), and the fourth, "Empire of Tomorrow", carries a futuristic theme and a focus on female characters.
In September 2019, 2K revealed that WWE 2K20's Collector's Edition would be based on SmackDown's 20th Anniversary. Similar to some of the previous games; it includes a Deluxe Edition copy of the game and the Season Pass, now known as the Backstage Pass, alongside other physical features, including a plaque featuring a piece of the SmackDown 2002 - 2008 ring mat, with a picture of the ring collapsed featuring the Big Show & Brock Lesnar. In-game features include the access to pre-order bonus "Bump in the Night; a signed card that featured a signed plague from either Kurt Angle, Edge or Rey Mysterio, as well as Chyna, who has not been featured in a WWE video game since WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role in 2000, WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan, who last appeared in WWE 2K15, a $500 shirt version of The Rock & Mankind. Unlike previous years, the Deluxe & Collector's Editions did not include a 4 day early access to the game and all versions were released on the same day.
Following the departure of Yuke's, WWE 2K20 received "unfavorable reviews" on all platforms according to review aggregator Metacritic. Reviewers criticized the physics, graphics, targeting, change in controls and the numerous glitches.
Brian Mazique of Forbes stated that "while a few of the legacy strengths such as the creation suite are still strong, the most important part, the gameplay is in a bad place." For IGN Brian Fowler said the game was a "mess", and that the game's quality had degraded since its predecessor, and many of the character models looked like they had "crawled out of a PS2-era wrestling game." GamesRadar+'s Ben Wilson gave the verdict that "WWE 2K20 plays like a work-in-progress demo that’s yet to be stress-tested - but there’s a decent game somewhere under the hot mess." Writing for GameSpot, Richard Wakeling criticized the MyCareer mode, the new control layout and the numerous technical issues, and declared as the worst of the WWE 2K series, and the moment the series "hit rock bottom."
The game received notable backlash on social media platforms, where the hashtag #FixWWE2K20 began trending. Many players, who purchased the collector's edition, revealed that their art card was not signed, with Edge & 2K immediately sending the editions back for re-signs. At the start of 2020, the game was rendered almost unplayable due to a "Y2k20" bug.
In April 2020, former WWE video games writer Justin Leeper reported that the successor to WWE 2K20, WWE 2K21 had been cancelled. The decision was made due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the video game industry and the poor sales and reception for 2K20. Leeper would go on to state that 2K would publish a different WWE game in 2020, while WWE 2K22 will be released in 2021 for current gen consoles and "probably" PCs.
In April 2020, during WWE's 1st Quarter Earnings Call, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was asked if 2K21 was cancelled, before he then turned the question over to WWE CFO, Frank Riddick, who revealed that the game was cancelled. On April 27, 2020, 2K announced the spin-off title WWE 2K Battlegrounds, which was released on 18 September 2020 to a mixed reception.
- Artus, Matthew. "Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns unveiled as WWE 2K20 cover Superstars". WWE. Archived from the original on August 5, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
- "WWE's Four Horsewomen Will Star in WWE 2K20's Showcase Mode". WWG. Archived from the original on August 6, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "WWE 2K20 Game Features". WWE2K. Archived from the original on August 6, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Aguilar, Matthew. "WWE 2K20 Adds Women to Career Mode for First Time Ever". WWG. Archived from the original on August 5, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
- "WWE 2K20 Developer Will Be Visual Concepts, Yuke's Working On Original Wrestling Game - Wrestlezone". Wrestlezone. Archived from the original on August 19, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "Details On Why Eminem Was Reported To Be Working On WWE 2K20 Soundtrack When He Wasn't". 411MANIA. Archived from the original on August 19, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- EDT, Phillip Martinez On 8/5/19 at 9:34 AM (August 5, 2019). "Get ready to "step inside" 'WWE 2K20' on October 22". Newsweek. Archived from the original on August 19, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "WWE 2K20's DLC will introduce 'Fictional Realms'". Destructoid.
- "WWE 2K20 Has Some Great, New Additions And One Glaring Problem". GameSpot. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
- "WWE 2K20's Originals DLC Pack Allows You To Play As "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt". GameSpot. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- "WWE 2K20's Bump in the Night Content is Now Live". ComicBook.com. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
- "Batista Gets a Mad Max Makeover in WWE 2K20's New Wasteland Wanderers Originals DLC". ComicBook.com. December 28, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- "WWE 2K20 Gets New Update, Southpaw Wrestling DLC". GameSpot. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- Wilson, Ben (March 17, 2020). "WWE 2K20 DLC guide: who's in it and when is it out?". gamesradar. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- Coulson, Josh (August 5, 2019). "WWE 2K20: SmackDown 20th Anniversary Edition Will Include Hulk Hogan & Chyna". TheSportster. Archived from the original on August 5, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
- "#WWE2K20 on Twitter". Twitter. August 6, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- "#WWE2K20 on Twitter". Twitter. August 7, 2019. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
- "WWE 2K20 for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
- "WWE 2K20 for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
- "WWE 2K20 for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
- Wilson, Ben (October 24, 2019). "WWE 2K20 Review". GamesRadar+. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
- Fowler, Matt (October 24, 2019). "WWE 2K20 Review". IGN. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- Wakeling, Richard. "WWE 2K20 Review". GameSpot.
- Jarrard, Chris (October 30, 2019). "WWE 2K20 review: Botchamania". Shacknews. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- "This Is Not How Wrestling Ring Ropes Work, WWE 2K20 [Update]". Deadspin.
- Square, Push (October 22, 2019). "WWE 2K20 Is an Astoundingly Buggy Mess on PS4". Push Square.
- Mazique, Brian. "'WWE 2K20' Review: The Good, The Bad, The Bottom Line". Forbes.
- Wilson, Ben (October 24, 2019). "WWE 2K20 review". GamesRadar+.
- #FixWWE2K20 Campaign Trending on Social Media Following Buggy Launch - IGN, retrieved April 27, 2020
- Mansoor, Saqib (January 1, 2020). "WWE 2K20 Refuses To Run In 2020". SegmentNext. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- Adler, Matthew (December 5, 2019). "The 15 Worst Reviewed Games of 2019". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- "Worst Videogames of 2019 (All Platforms)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. p. 6. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- Banerjee, Prasid (November 14, 2019). "WWE 2K20: Contender for the worst game of the year". Mint. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- Jones, John-Paul (November 3, 2019). "WWE 2K20 PS4 Review". PlayStation Universe. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- "WWE 2K21 reportedly cancelled in favour of new game". GamesIndustry.biz.
- McWhertor, Michael (April 27, 2020). "2K confirms no WWE 2K21, announces WWE 2K Battlegrounds for fall 2020". Polygon.
- Forbes. "WWE 2K Battlegrounds Release Date, Roster Info, Game Modes, Pre-Order Info, And More".