Wait any longer and you will have to take on WWE 2K23.
AEW’s debut game was supposed to be here already. Kenny Omega previously confirmed that the promotion was targeting 2022, and after that window came and went, it was widely believed that Fight Forever would be here in early 2023. Now, a dispute over the game’s ESRB rating appears to have left the first game behind. of AEW in limbo.
That’s according to a new report from WrestleZone (thanks, VGC) citing sources close to the situation. According to the new report, AEW and Fight Forever publisher THQ Nordic were hoping the game would receive a T-for-teen rating. However, the amount of blood and gore that appears in Fight Forever seems to be overdue, as the ESRB presumably wants to give the game an M for Mature.
A higher rating for Fight Forever naturally cuts off a portion of potential Fight Forever players, therefore AEW wants it to be as low as possible. However, there’s no getting around the fact that the more violent product it offers fans on TV compared to WWE seems to have been replicated in-game. Unless you tone down that violence, then a T rating for your first game may be out of reach.
Speaking of WWE, AEW now has to consider the arrival of WWE 2K23. 2K confirmed this week that the next game in its long-running partnership with WWE will release on March 17. If Fight Forever was gearing up for a February release, and ESRB issues now prevent that from happening, AEW will likely want to look further afield. March to prevent the arrival of Fight Forever from being massively overshadowed by a well-established fighting game series that made a huge comeback last year.
AEW continues to discover how difficult it is to create a game that appeals to as many people as possible. There were reports last summer that this could be the only time Yuke and AEW work together due to disagreements between the two entities behind the scenes. The company also had to change the game’s cover art due to a very public dispute between CM Punk and some of AEW’s EVPs.
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