It may have struggled for many a year, but the most recent instalment in the WWE 2K franchise was, in fact, rather good. But now all attention focuses on the next game and with WWE 2K23, John Cena will be front and centre.
Announced from Visual Concepts and 2K, WWE 2K23 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC (Steam) will release on March 17th 2023 in Standard Edition form, or via a little bit of early access through the WWE 2K23 Deluxe Edition or Icon Edition come March 14th 2023. If it can build on the brilliance of WWE 2K22, then wrestling fans are in for a nice little surprise.
WWE 2K23 features several franchise advancements, including a unique new take on the 2K Showcase, the introduction of WarGames, and expansions to several marquee game modes. But for many it’ll be the arrival of Cena front and centre which will be the real draw. This comes about in celebration of his 20th anniversary as a WWE Superstar, as the 16-time World Champion, Hollywood icon, record-setting philanthropist, and WWE 2K23 Executive Soundtrack Producer, John Cena, prepares to be featured on the cover of each edition of the game; each striking three of his signature poses.
Further to that, Bad Bunny – the Billboard’s Top Artist of the Year and one of the most streamed artists in the world for 2022 – will also make his WWE 2K debut, subject to your pre-order or purchase of the bigger editions of the game. That roster looks seriously deep too, as fans can also look forward to a deep roster of WWE Superstars and Legends including Roman Reigns, “American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes, Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and more.
You should also expect to have incredibly realistic graphics, animations, camera angles and lighting, thrust towards your eyes, as well as accessible controls and a new optional pinning mechanic that will add to the highly immersive experience.
“It is a pleasure to tell the story of my career through the WWE 2K23 Showcase,” said John Cena. “2K has done a fantastic job capturing and invigorating the WWE 2K franchise through this concept, and I am honored to grace the cover of WWE 2K23.”
“Much like our cover Superstar John Cena, the Visual Concepts team didn’t back down from the challenge to prove that the quality of the WWE 2K franchise is here to stay,” said Greg Thomas, President at Visual Concepts. “WWE 2K23 takes a winning formula and adds so much more. We’re especially excited to see how fans react to the 2K Showcase and WarGames.”
WWE 2K23 features several key features of the franchise, as well some new additions and twists:
- 2K Showcase Starring John Cena: Conquering John Cena in the ring is an accolade few Superstars can claim. In an unprecedented twist on the 2K Showcase, players will step into the boots of several of Cena’s toughest competitors with one goal in mind: defeat the man who will “Never Give Up.” Spanning his 20-year WWE career and narrated by Cena himself, this interactive sports entertainment documentary uses 2K’s unique Slingshot Tech for a seamless transition from gameplay to live-action footage to bring pivotal moments in each match to life;
- WarGames: The fan-favorite, chaotic and action-packed WarGames makes its debut in WWE 2K23 and delivers heart-pounding 3v3 and 4v4 single player or multiplayer mayhem inside two side-by-side rings, surrounded by a double-steel cage;
- MyGM: Now featuring more GMs to choose from – or a player’s own custom GM creation – as well as additional show options, multiple seasons, expanded match cards, and more match types for up to four players. Players draft a roster, manage budgets, sign free agents, choose various match types, arena locations, production elements and more, with the goal of beating a rival GM in weekly ratings battles;
- MyFACTION: Now featuring online multiplayer action, the team-building mode in which players collect, manage, and upgrade an array of WWE Superstars and Legends to create their ultimate four-person factions returns. Players can now take their faction online and compete for global dominance, or compete in Weekly Towers and Faction Wars, while new themed card packs and goals roll out regularly throughout the year**;
- MyRISE: Aspiring Superstars walk through the curtain for their WWE debut in MyRISE and shape their career with the decisions made along the way. Featuring distinct men’s and women’s division storylines and the ability to import custom created Superstars, players journey from the humble beginnings of a Rookie, to being immortalized as a WWE Legend;
- Universe: The ultimate WWE Universe sandbox that puts players in charge of their own version of WWE, from Superstar rosters, feuds, champions, weekly shows, and Premium Live Events! Updates to Universe include a reworked story system and more;
- Creation Suite: A signature feature of the WWE 2K franchise, the creation suite returns with cross-platform community creations, including the ability to design custom Superstars, GMs, arenas, entrances, move sets, championships and more. Custom arenas are now playable online, and advanced customization has been added to created entrances.
WWE 2K23 features four editions of the game: Standard Edition, Cross-Gen, Deluxe Edition, and Icon Edition, details and pre-order bonuses as follows:
- The Standard Edition will be available for £49.99 on PC, and for £59.99 on previous-gen platforms (PS4, Xbox One consoles) and for £69.99 on current-gen consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series X|S) in both physical and digital formats;
- The Cross-Gen edition will be available digitally for £69.99 on PlayStation and Xbox consoles. The Cross-Gen edition includes the Standard Edition across previous and current-gen platforms within the same console family and the same PlayStation or Xbox account;
- The Deluxe Edition will be available for £89.99 for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One in both physical and digital formats, and on PC in digital format. The Deluxe Edition includes the Standard Edition, Bad Bunny Bonus Pack, plus a Season Pass to all five post-launch DLC content packs; the MyRISE Mega-Boost and SuperCharger; Ruby John Cena MyFACTION Evo Card, Gold Edge MyFACTION Card, Emerald Bianca Belair MyFACTION Card, Gold Asuka MyFACTION Card, and three Basic Premium Launch MyFACTION Card Packs. The Deluxe Edition will be available from March 14, 2023 – three days ahead of Standard and Cross-Gen Editions!;
- The Icon Edition will be available for £104.99 for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC, featuring original cover art by renowned WWE-inspired artist Rob Schamberger. In addition to the Standard Edition and all bonus content included in the Deluxe Edition, the Icon Edition includes the Ruthless Aggression Pack, celebrating 20 years of John Cena’s WWE career by featuring John Cena’s early “Prototype” character, as well as “Leviathan” Batista, developmental rookie versions of Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton, the John Cena Legacy Championship and WrestleMania 22 Arena. Additional bonus content includes an Emerald Paul Heyman MyFACTION Manager Card, and three Deluxe Premium Launch MyFACTION Card Packs. The Icon Edition will be available from March 14, 2023 – three days ahead of Standard and Cross-Gen Editions!;
- Bad Bunny Bonus Pack Pre-Order Offer: Players who pre-ordered the Standard Edition and Cross-Gen Digital Bundle will receive the Bad Bunny Bonus Pack, which includes Bad Bunny as a playable character, as well as a Ruby tier Bad Bunny MyFACTION card.* The Bad Bunny Bonus Pack is included in the Deluxe Edition and Icon Edition at launch.
You’ll see the world premiere of the Even Stronger Showcase trailer, including more information and a look at WWE 2K23 gameplay via Monday Night Raw.
Grab a watch of that when you can and then hold tight for the March release. We’ll be sure to let you know when WWE 2K23 arrives on Xbox, PlayStation and PC.