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WWE 2K23 has finally been revealed. With the launch date less than two months away, it’s not going to be long before fans can get their hands on the game. One of the most exciting new game modes this year is the WarGames match type, which has been requested ever since it was revived for NXT in 2017.

This unique match sees two rings placed side-by-side and a steel cage lowered around them. Participants from two teams then enter one by one, with the opportunity to bring weapons into the match as it goes on. We spoke to WWE 2K23 creative directors Lynell Jinks and Bryan Williams about the unique challenges this match presented, and how it’s come together in WWE 2K23 this year.

“When you look at the way that our game is built in terms of combat, everything was geared around the ring,” Jinks explains. “There’s one ring, and there’s one set of ropes, and the barricade is a specific dimension. Last year on WWE 2K22, we kinda had to reinvent how we approach gameplay, and things were no longer hard-coded into specific locations for specific moves, it’s like we need to have more freedom.”

He points to the backstage environment in 2K22 as a huge step towards implementing WarGames.

“So with backstage brawl, like the platform in the middle, that was a huge win for us, because we can have something that’s higher than the ground, that doesn’t have ropes, but still behaves similarly to the ring,” he says. “Once we had that concept, and once we actually proved that we could do something like that, it unlocked the potential of something like WarGames. Like, let’s try two rings side by side, now let’s add the ropes, now let’s add the barricade, now let’s figure out guys coming in and out of the cages.”

WWE 2K23 Bobby Lashley

With so many complexities in this match, fans were worried that things like weapons and gradual entrants wouldn’t be implemented in this version of WarGames, but there’s no need to worry.

“It’s every bit as frenetic, chaotic, as you would expect the WarGames match to be,” Williams explains. “This is the first time in the franchise where we’re finally allowing weapons inside the Steel Cage structure. When new entrants come into the match, players are able to take control of a character on their way into the ring and pull weapons from underneath the ring and introduce them into the cage environment.”

Both directors also mention how much of a challenge the trench in between the two rings presented, but they’re happy with the final product. “Just from a design standpoint it makes your brain hurt, but we pulled it off,” Jinks says.

There are also unique actions that can be performed in the trench, such as throwing people from one ring to the next, or performing springboard attacks.

“It’s crazy to think how much work went into it in order for us to support it,” Jinks says. “But when you play it, it’s like nothing we’ve ever done.”

WarGames should be a faithful recreation of the real thing, but the focus is on implementing new stuff this year, as other game modes have been expanded. MyGM has new features coming with expanded match cards, types, playable GMs, and up to four players in a multiplayer game at once.

WWE 2K23 Stone Cold Steve Austin entering the ting

One mode that has always been left by the wayside though is Universe mode. This mode lets you have full control of WWE’s roster, shows, titles, and matches, but it’s rarely been expanded or changed since 2K has been at the helm of the series. Jinks explains why this is.

“We’ve heard for years, Universe needs an update,” he says. “One of the biggest things that we did when we finally took this game over, we reworked our story systems for MyRise. How we build MyRise, and now even in Showcase is built on one set of tools. Universe was completely different. It was still this very difficult system to work with and edit – it was just hard to add anything new to it because it was so fragile. So, what we ended up doing was basically bringing Universe over to the [MyRise] system, but have the Universe engine power underneath it.”

With this new system for Universe, the team believes it keeps the integrity of the system the same while allowing them to build on it, with small but important new features coming in WWE 2K23.

“It unlocks the potential of what our designers are able to create or the users who have access to it,” Jinks explains. “So you can choose certain actions before the match like, ‘Oh, I want these two superstars before the match starts to do a handshake.’ You can control what some of these actions are before the matches start during your card. There’s that level of fidelity that users have access to now.”

This is promising for fans for Universe mode and hopefully means that we’ll be seeing larger updates to it in future WWE games.