Over a year into the Nintendo Switches lifecycle, there have been many releases that have caught me off guard. Who would have thought we’d see LA Noire, Doom, or Dark Souls on a Nintendo console? One release in particular, though, maybe isn’t as surprising, but has an interesting history attached to it.
WWE 2K18 released for Nintendo Switch a couple months after other platforms, due to some trouble optimizing for the system. This was the first time a WWE game had been released on a Nintendo console since WWE 2K13 in 2012 for the Wii. It’s clear the Switch wasn’t 2K Sport’s main priority, which kind of makes sense considering PS4/XB1 have a bigger install base. However, with the increasing sales of the hybrid console, it seems like a misstep for it to have been overlooked.
After taking a quick glance at the reviews for WWE 2K18 for Switch, using the term “misstep” is an understatement. With a staggeringly low Metacritic score of 35, it’s not exactly surprising that 2K Sports isn’t interested in a follow-up this year.
The biggest complaint is that 2K18 was simply not ready for launch for Switch, even with a two-month delay. Numerous issues including missing content, audio glitches, and tremendous slowdown make this almost unplayable., especially for 2K’s standards.
Given the success of many other games on the system, it may behoove publishers and developers to focus on releasing their games for Nintendo Switch. Just look at the sales numbers; Statistically, games sell just as well, if not better on Switch compared to other consoles. Fans are hungry for content and with the ability to take games on the go, everything seems infinitely more appealing. Along with that, with nearly every new game announcement, publishers’ Twitter accounts are flooded with, “Yeah, but is it coming to Switch?” messages and Tweets from fans.
The recent release of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus for Switch is just one of the many examples of taking extra time to make sure a game is ready for launch. Wolf II had an eight-month delay on Switch but it seems like the wait was worth it.
It’s understandable that publishers weren’t ready for the success of the Switch. Once it was clear the system was selling well, developers scrambled to get their games ported over but because of the asynchronous development timeframe, many games did not launch day-and-date alongside other platforms. Now that it’s known that releasing on Switch is beneficial, developers can start working on Switch versions at the same time as PS4/XB1, which is what *should* have happened with WWE 2K19.
According to 2K Sports, “2K is focused on making the best possible experience for WWE 2K fans and will continue evaluating all opportunities to deliver the franchise across additional platforms.” To me, that sounds like a typical PR response from 2K. Perhaps they’re taking the Assassin’s Creed: Origins approach and taking a year off to be ready for next year.
Sure, fans are probably soured by last year’s WWE release on Switch, so maybe after taking a year off, they will be more open to giving it another shot. Sports games are annualized and consistently release from August-October each year, so maybe 2K was thinking it would have been weird to push 2K18 back eight months, even to make sure it would run smoothly.
Despite that, it’s a clear miss for 2K to disregard the Switch for this year’s WWE release. They could have gotten YUKE’S to get started right away to make sure 2K19 would be ready for launch on Switch this year, but clearly 2K did not deem it to be worth the trouble.
We’re still hoping for a Switch version of WWE 2K20 next year, once 2K Sports gets all their ducks in a row. The Switch kind of caught all of us off guard and publishers are still playing catch-up to get into the rhythm of releasing games consistently.
Do you all agree that WWE 2K19 should have been released on Switch this year? Is it a mistake to skip out on the console/handheld hybrid? Let us know in the comments! For all things Switch and gaming, stick with GameSavvy and remember to stay savvy!