Update: The developers have reached out via the Twitter handle @WWEGames. An initial patch for WWE 2K20 will be made available in the next two weeks. Make of that what you will.
— #WWE2K20 (@WWEgames) October 25, 2019
Let’s face it, there will always be bad games. The onus is simply on the developers to gather feedback and respond in an appropriate time. In some cases, the problems surface prior to launch, and the development team usually addresses these concerns by way of a “Day One patch”. In other cases, additional issues that QA missed are made known as more players check out the game. Again, the developers respond in turn. But what happens when a game is a bug-ridden mess, has a disastrous launch, receives a fair amount of criticism, and yet its developers remain silent? That’s what we’re seeing right now, with numerous WWE 2K20 complaints and the apparent silence from developer Visual Concepts and publisher 2K Games.
Note: Feel free to check out our WWE 2K20 technical review and official review. Both articles complement one another. The former focuses on the graphics, performance, controls, and various options. The latter looks at the different game modes, features, and overall presentation. You can also check out our WWE 2K20 guides and features hub.
WWE 2K20: Problems before launch
There were apparent problems before WWE 2K20‘s launch on October 22. The first was the departure of developer Yuke’s from the project, handing over the helm to 2K’s own subsidiary Visual Concepts (makers of the NBA 2K series). In a recent interview with GameSpot, Visual Concepts creative director Lynell Jinks mentioned that it was “freeing” after Yuke’s left and gave their studio full control. Jinks noted that “all the ideas [that the team] wanted to pursue [were at their fingertips.]” But, the reality is also quite different:
And it was our responsibility to make sure that we understood everything that we’re putting in the game from front to back, right? And this is 20 years of just Yukes’ code, Yukes’ art, Yukes’ pipelines that we had to take apart and understand. Not only understand, but make it ours and try to make it better at the same time, or make it as good as it was.
The result was not as expected. Visual Concepts was unable to make WWE 2K20 better. They couldn’t make it as good as it was. In fact, they made it worse.
As cited in our WWE 2K20 official review, there were egregious problems that were readily seen, such as the targeting system and hit detection. The reversal system was also horribly buggy, with prompts disappearing, actions becoming nullified, or the AI opponent suddenly acting beyond the bounds of what’s allowed. These issues have been reported by various publications and many other users. It’s extremely unlikely, then, that such problems just fell through the cracks.
For example, the developers tweeted a few weeks ago that reversal windows were “authored by designers” so they can “look and feel more responsive.” Well, that system itself has become a notable flaw in the game. Either something was messed up along the way, or they were probably “ribbing” us.
Reversal windows are now authored by designers and fire more immediately, helping them look and feel more responsive.
— #WWE2K20 (@WWEgames) October 15, 2019
Worries made reality
There were already concerns here and there prior to WWE 2K20‘s launch. In a promotional event attended by influencers and streamers, screenshots and clips surfaced showing somewhat downgraded graphics and wacky hair physics. Concerns turned into harsh realities when the game finally released a few days ago.
Redditor DazedRabbit ended up compiling a list of all the bugs and glitches that have circulated all over social media. There were those who’ve ended up with duplicate characters:
Now I'm really confused. pic.twitter.com/dQzFMA0rs9
— Twisted Moula: Black (@LyMoula) October 22, 2019
Those who’ve gotten stuck in a loading screen because they ended up putting logos and lettering on your MyPlayer/MyCareer character:
So, heads up. If you put a logo on your MyPlayer, the My Career won’t load. That’s a…. very large oversight. #WWE2K20
— Chris Denker (DenkOps) (@thechrisdenker) October 21, 2019
Those who have some ungodly and horrifying disfigurement going on:
I kid you not, there’s even a problem with a wrestler’s entrance theme that just loops nonstop. The wrestler’s name is Luke Harper, and it seems both WWE “Creative” and Visual Concepts’ own department completely forgot about him:
These bugs and many more have marred player experiences across multiple platforms. In my case, I’ve outlined several examples such as crashes, wobbly ring romps, glitchy “overselling” and ragdoll effects, and players floating in mid-air. I was also severely disappointed by a bug that prevented players from downloading and saving logos and face photos. This problem ensured the complete lack of CAW counterparts of athletes that aren’t in WWE 2K20‘s roster.
As a whole, WWE 2K20 felt like a rushed job that needed more time in development. Visual Concepts tried to fill the void that Yuke’s left in their departure. However, they couldn’t. Rather than delay the game for some much-needed tweaking, they pushed through with the announced release date, much to the chagrin of wrestling fans.
The sound of silence
Yes, bad games will have a number of problems. But, the silver lining often comes in how the developer addresses these issues. In the case of WWE 2K20, though, we’ve had radio silence from Visual Concepts and 2K for a couple of days now. It’s like the Usos’ tagline “Day One-ish” – except, in this case, it’s “Day Two and they’re still shushed.”
Rather than address all of these concerns in a timely manner, especially since it’s the launch of the only major pro-wrestling video game franchise in the west, Visual Concepts and 2K decided to announce a $50,000 Twitch tournament that was taking place. That was yesterday.
Yes, while players were reporting several bugs and the #FixWWE2K20 hashtag was trending worldwide, the response was to ask people to watch streamers instead. As you can expect, the reactions were very much negative.
How can you sit there and ignore the people who keep you in business? How about updating the people you screwed out of money on when they can get their games fixed? #FixWWE2K20
— michael carson (@Michaelchimique) October 24, 2019
…the level unbothered you guys seem to be by the consumer backlash is mind boggling. #FixWWE2K20 pic.twitter.com/1vnaA2jvHv
— Robertooo (@therjdshawn) October 24, 2019
The WWE 2K20 patch?
Will there be a fix down the line? Nobody knows, because so far, the developers have remained quite mum about it. Prior to the launch, rumors started circulating about a massive day one patch. Sadly, no such patch materialized.
There are also conflicting reports stating that a patch will go live on Monday, October 28. However, that was also contradicted by another post saying that October 28 isn’t the actual date of the patch. It’s just the release date of the Bump in the Night DLC.
Whatever the case may be, we’re hoping that the developers do address these concerns soon. We’ve also reached out to Visual Concepts and 2K for clarification.
If things get better, and perhaps they will, you can check out WWE 2K20 via its Steam store page.