2K Games has named Patrick Gilmore as its new executive producer for the WWE series.
The appointment follows criticism of last year's WWE 2K20, which received a strong negative reaction from consumers and press, with PlayStation even issuing refunds. 2K has confirmed recent reports that there will not be a WWE 2K21 this year as it takes extra time to make a game that delivers on 'quality and fun'.
However, there will be a wrestling game this Christmas in the form of WWE 2K Battlegrounds. The publisher describes the game as an over-the-top experience, and it's being developed by Saber Interactive, which is the team behind the NBA 2K Playgrounds series.
Last year's WWE game was the first title entirely developed by NBA 2K creators Visual Concepts, following the departure of long-term franchise developer Yukes. Gilmore will be part of the Visual Concepts team. He has spent 25 years in video games, having worked on Disney's Aladdin for Sega Genesis/Megadrive, Killer Instinct, Medal of Honour and has most recently worked at Amazon on the game New World.
In an open letter to fans, 2K said: "We want to address WWE 2K20. We've heard and appreciate your feedback, and continue to listen to you closely. Since launch, we've released five title updates, addressing hundreds of reported concerns, and have released four WWE 2K20 Originals DLC expansions to build on and improve the experience. We've also heard your requests to keep the WWE 2K19 servers running; they will remain active for the time being.
"All of that being said, we hear you and we know you want more from the franchise, so here's what we're going to do: we are applying what we've learned to the next WWE 2K simulation game with a renewed focus on quality and fun. As part of that commitment, we are extending the production timeline and will not be releasing a WWE 2K simulation game in 2020 (T2 fiscal year 2021). We want to ensure the development team at Visual Concepts 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."
2K also reaffirmed its commitment to the WWE SuperCard series, which is currently in its sixth season.
The letter concluded: "2K and WWE are reaffirming a long-term commitment to expand the WWE games family in ways that directly benefit you, the fans. We are taking the time we need to deliver the quality you deserve, while at the same time offering new experiences and ways to have fun with the WWE Superstars you love... And that's the bottom line, 'cause 2K said so!"