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WWE 2K22 release date, PS5 and Xbox Series X wishlist, features, cover and everything you need to know

August's Summerslam event brought confirmation that WWE 2K22 is on the way – but with a surprising release date of March 2022. By that stage it'll be almost two and a half years since the release of the abominable WWE 2K20, a game received so poorly that sequel WWE 2K21 was binned off completely. Its return early next year heralds the series' first outing on PS5 and Xbox Series X, with a new director: former Medal Of Honor boss Patrick Gilmore. Who's on the roster and what else can you expect to see? All is explained in your WWE 2K22 guide.

WWE 2K22 trailer: watch Roman Reigns right here

The first official WWE 2K22 trailer dropped during August's Summerslam event. It was actually the second video look at the new game, but 2K billed its predecessor – more on which shortly – as a 'teaser trailer'. Wrestlers featured include Roman Reigns and Finn Balor, and you can view it below.

WWE 2K22 teaser trailer: where can I see it?

Jump over to our WWE 2K22 announcement story if you'd like to watch the first trailer right away. It features veterans Rey Mysterio and Cesaro going face-to-face – actually, feet-to-face is more accurate – on next-gen, and looks mint. Let's hope WWE 2K22 gameplay matches up to those impressive visuals. 

WWE 2K22 release date: will it ever happen?

Yes. Even before the trailer dropped, publisher 2K made it clear that a new game was on the way, with vast improvements on WWE 2K20. 

“We hear you and we know you want more from the franchise, so we are applying what we’ve learned to the next WWE 2K simulation game with a renewed focus on quality and fun,” said publisher 2K back in April 2020. “As part of that commitment, we are extending the production timeline and will not be releasing a WWE 2K simulation game in 2020. We want to ensure the development team 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.”

At August's Summerslam event, 2K confirmed that the WWE 2K22 release date is March 2022. Formats aren't guaranteed but PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4 and Xbox One are all sure to be included.

WWE 2K22 roster: Angel Garza among expected debutants

When WWE 2K22 emerges in March, it’ll have been more than two years since the company’s last sim grappler – ensuring a welcome shake up of the WWE 2K22 roster. Before its cancellation, GR ran through a list of expected new faces on the WWE 2K21 roster, and most of those still stand.

John Morrison is ensured of a first series appearance since WWE 12, while guaranteed first timers include T-Bar and Mace, Angel Garza, and Dominik Mysterio. The presence of third-brand NXT wrestlers isn’t so assured, but Karrion Kross, Scarlett, Santos Escobar and Dexter Lumis are all strong possibilities.

For a full rundown of those likely to make the cut, check out our WWE 2K22 roster guide.

WWE 2K22 developer: What’s happening with life after Yuke’s?

The controversial decision to cut ties with long-time developer Yuke’s is cited as one of the key reasons for WWE 2K20’s failure. It meant that in-house studio Visual Concepts was left to finish a part-developed title on its own. Yuke’s had helmed the series since its PS1 inception as WWF Smackdown back in the year 2000.

Visual Concepts is still maintaining control of WWE 2K22, although with a new face at its helm. Australian dev Patrick Gilmore, once the kingpin of EA’s beloved Medal Of Honor series, is on board as executive producer, and was active on Twitter during the summer of 2020, seeking fan ideas. At least seven of the dev team also post on Reddit’s WWE Games forum – if you’re looking to interact, this introductory post is a great starting point. There’s also a WWE 2K20 feedback project on the official 2K forums, which the company says is directly influencing WWE 2K21. It all sounds encouraging.

As for Yuke’s, they’ve moved on to a new wrestling sim: the highly anticipated first AEW video game. Head there if you’re looking for a brawler featuring a host of past WWE stars, such as Dean Ambrose, Chris Jericho, and Matt Hardy.

WWE 2K22 cover: who’ll be on the box?

It’s not possible to bet on video gaming covers, but should Ladbrokes start offering odds tomorrow Drew McIntyre would be hot favourite. After toppling Brock Lesnar to become WWE Champion at WrestleMania 36, he spent most of 2020 in possession of Raw’s main belt, only interrupted by a brief Randy Orton reign. McIntyre dropped the title to The Miz at February’s Elimination Chamber show, but should be back on top imminently – and a WWE 2K22 cover would cement his main event status.

Roman Reigns, long-time champ on Smackdown, is the other major contender. Two things count against him in comparison to McIntyre: he’s a heel (bad guy), and – alongside Becky Lynch – was one of the two cover stars of the comically awful WWE 2K20. WWE and 2K would do well to steer clear of links to that project despite Reigns’ dominance and Lynch’s continuing popularity during maternity leave.

WWE 2K22 features: "it hits different", say 2K

The tagline for WWE 2K22 is: 'It hits different.’ “That [mantra] doesn’t just apply to the game itself but the way we market it and communicate with the press, content creators, and our community,” says 2K global communications manager Al Stavola. "We want to try out new ideas and bring everyone along for the journey."

"You're going to see things earlier than you have before, with more behind-the-scenes [content] than we’ve shown in the past. Transparency is really important. This is a different and huge step in the right direction."

WWE 2K22 PS5 and Xbox Series X wishlist: what do fans want to see?

Introduced in Smackdown vs Raw 2006 back on PS2 and Xbox, GM Mode – in which you signed wrestlers then booked feuds and shows, and were awarded ratings for exciting matches and dramatic feuds – remains the series’ most popular feature. Sadly, it was axed after Smackdown vs Raw 2008. Fans have lobbied endlessly for its return ever since.

Reddit poster madrid_357 has a GM Mode concept so comprehensive I can only recommend you read it in full. (Brew a cuppa first.) Highlights include: “Ticket prices of the shows are changeable. You can have multiple sponsors. If you have a good show, you see that in the TV ratings, match ratings, even the new subscribers of WWE Network. You have your shows in different cities: some stadiums could have 50,000 seats while [another] has 30,000 seats. You must plan [financially], and can even hold your show in the WWE Development Center with just 5,000 seats – no costs because of no rental of the arena, but also you won't get many new fans because you stay in your territory.”

At the very least, argues Vanquishx208 on the official 2K forums, GM Mode should be merged with the feature that replaced it. “I'm okay with it being separate from Universe Mode. However, I'm also not opposed to certain aspects of GM Mode being added to Universe Mode. Such as a yearly Draft, Match/Show Ratings, Trades, etc. If these GM Mode features are added to Universe Mode, I think it's important to have an option to turn them off for the Universe players that don't want this aspect of control.”

Fellow poster MADNESS_NH97 argues that in-match physics must be the priority. “The interactivity between moves and the environment needs to improve. I've been asking for this since WWE 2K15. By that I don't mean carry moves, but any move – like a suplex, or powerbomb, or spear – done near the barricade, steps, or ropes. They should connect with these parts of the environment. When doing a German Suplex with Brock Lesnar, towards the barricade, the opponent should be ragdolled into it, instead of both wrestlers just sliding around so the animation plays out the way it does usually.”

For nickvcami on Reddit, it all comes back to the WWE 2K22 roster. “I hope we can introduce way more NXT superstars for the new game. It would be great to play with Karrion Kross, Damien Priest, Walter/Imperium. With the introduction of the NXT superstars we could have a Showcase of the best NXT matches of all time. Just like in WWE 2K14, where we had all of the WrestleManias.”

I'm GamesRadar+'s sports editor, obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB – and very occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym. Namely: Bill Bryson, Pitch Perfect, and the Streets Of Rage series. I have two kids who aren't quite old enough to play Madden yet. Soon, though…

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WWE 2K22 release date, roster, news and what we’d like to see

WWE 2K22 is coming and its slogan is promising that it "hits different", suggesting that the series' hiatus period might have been just the thing to reinvigorate it. Fans will certainly be hoping that WWE 2K22 is a significant improvement over the disastrous WWE 2K20, which led to WWE 2K21 being canceled.

But what do we know about WWE 2K22 so far? Well, thanks to SummerSlam 2021, we know the game is expected to release in March 2022, bucking the series' October release trend. 

We also know that when it does release, it'll feature new controls, updated graphics, and a redesigned engine. The game also uses a new facial scanning technology, and 2K claims that 85% of the in-game roster has taken part in having their likenesses scanned into the game.

WWE 2K22 will also include more than 3,400 new animations but more details about the game will be detailed in January 2022 in a full reveal. In the meantime, we've gathered everything we've learned so far about the game below for your perusal.

[Update:Could General Manager Mode be returning in WWE 2K22? Read on to find out more.]

WWE 2K22: cut to the chase

  • What is it? A WWE wrestling sim from 2K Games
  • When can I play it? March 2022
  • What can I play it on? No platforms have been announced, but we’d hazard a guess that WWE 2K22 will release on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One and PC.

WWE 2K22 release date and platforms

WWE 2K22 is definitely happening, but it won't be out this year. During SummerSlam 2021, 2K and developer Visual Concepts revealed that WWE 2K22 will release in March 2022, which goes against the game's usual October release date trend. 

The game's release will line up with the run up to Wrestlemania, where WWE fandom is at fever pitch, but it means that the WWE Universe will have to wait a little longer before a proper wrestling game arrives. We hope, though, that this extra time will mean that when it releases WWE 2K22 might actually be a great wrestling game.

Why was WWE 2K21 canceled?

Back in April 2020, 2K released a statement explaining the sudden cancellation of WWE 2K21, and how it planned to make WWE 2K22 the best game yet.

“We hear you and we know you want more from the franchise, so we are applying what we’ve learned to the next WWE 2K simulation game with a renewed focus on quality and fun,” the publisher said. “As part of that commitment, we are extending the production timeline and will not be releasing a WWE 2K simulation game in 2020. We want to ensure the development team 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.”

There are high hopes, then, that WWE 2K22 will be a return to form for the franchise, but also that it will dramatically improve upon previous entries, which have been rather lackluster.

WWE 2K22 trailers

We've rounded up all the WWE 2K22 trailers below for your viewing pleasure, including some interesting insights from the development team which show some of the game's new technology in action. 

WWE 2K22 SummerSlam trailer

The second trailer for WWE 2K22 was unveiled at WWE SummerSlam, and showcased the game's new lighting engine. We also got a glimpse of some superstars who have been confirmed for the game, including Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley and Kane. 

WWE 2K22 teaser trailer

The first trailer for WWE 2K22 dropped during Wrestlemania 37 and stars a photorealistic-looking Rey Mysterio and Cesaro battling it out. We get to see Rey performing his famous "619" finisher, along with various close-ups of Rey's new character model.

WWE 2K22 roster

The WWE roster has changed more than in previous years, partly due to Covid-19 resulting in multiple layoffs. It means that the WWE 2K22 roster may not be nailed down just yet, and could offer a few surprises. The break in development means the roster could look quite different, which should help freshen things up.

Some debutants we’re likely to see include Dominik Mysterio and Angel Garza, with popular NXT wrestlers also making the cut. We’d also expect the usual legends to make an appearance, like The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, as well as prominent superstars like Asuka and AJ Styles.

So far, we know these WWE superstars will be included in WWE 2K22:

  • Bayley
  • Bobby Lashley
  • Cesaro
  • Charlotte Flair
  • Drew McIntyre
  • Dolph Ziegler
  • Edge
  • Finn Bálor
  • Goldberg
  • Kane
  • Kofi Kingston
  • Rey Mysterio
  • Rhea Ripley
  • Ricochet
  • Roman Reigns
  • Sheamus 
  • Shinsuke Nakamura
  • The Miz

WWE 2K22 news

General manager mode?

WWE 2K22 could see the return of fan favorite General Manager Mode, if a recent tease is anything to go by. The tease came from a from the official WWE 2K22 Twitter account which responded to a tweet suggesting it would be “cool if you could draft your own roster in 2K22” with a pretty teasing thinking face emoji. 

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Admittedly, that's far from a confirmation that General Manager Mode will definitely be in the game but it’s enough to give fans hope. Especially following previous reports from SportsGamersOnline that General Manager Mode was seen as a "top priority" and would be in the game. It’s likely that if the mode is going to be in the game, fans probably shouldn’t expect to see anything officially confirmed before January 2022 when the full reveal is scheduled to take place. 

Learning more in January 2022

2K games has confirmed that a full reveal will take place in January 2022 ahead of WWE 2K22's March release date. What exactly will be covered in the reveal isn't confirmed but it's likely that it'll be a chance to dive deeper into the finer details and improvements that have been made to the game in its longer development period, with 2K's announcement highlighting "new controls" and "incredible graphics" as well as "ultra-realistic and updated character models, and more than 3,400 new animations."

WWE 2K22 is "looking fantastic"
WWE 2K22 is reportedly "looking fantastic", according to Forbes' Brian Mazique. Mazique also said the game's control are "much cleaner" and that WWE 2K22 "feels like a wrestling fan's wrestling game."

While it's hard to take too much away from Mazique's comments, it's encouraging to hear that the game sounds like it's in good shape.

More WWE departures could affect final roster
WWE has released a number of high-profile superstars in recent months, which could shape the game's final roster. The likes of Braun Strowman, Aleister Black and Lana have all been let go this year, and recently WWE announced that Bray Wyatt and Ric Flair have also been released.

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No Daniel Bryan?
There are rumors that Daniel Bryan might not appear in WWE 2K22. According to ScreenRant, wrestling writer Dave Meltzer has claimed in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE has requested Bryan not appear in WWE 2K22's roster. This is amidst rumors that Bryan is considering signing with AEW. As these are only rumors at the moment, with neither WWE nor 2K confirming, they should be taken with a pinch of salt.

New entrance animations revealed
2K Games has shared another behind the scenes video, which shows some of the entrance animations in WWE 2K22. According to the the tweet from the WWE 2K22 devs Twitter account, there will be over 4,800 new or updated animations in the game. 

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A number of WWE superstars were released
WWE announced that a number of notable superstars have been released from its roster, but how will this impact the game? Household names such as Braun Strowman, Lana and Ruby Riott have all been axed, so it remains to be seen whether they will be included in WWE 2K22. 

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WWE 2K22's cover stars have been chosen... by the fans
While we still don't know which WWE superstars will grace the game's cover quite yet, fans have had they say on who they'd like to see. In a poll by the WWE Fox Twitter account, fans voted for Drew McIntyre and Sasha Banks as the superstars they'd like to see on the box.

Will 2K Games agree with the fans selection? We'll have to wait and see.

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WWE 2K22 features thousands of new animations and mo-cap studio
WWE 2K22 will feature over 4,800 new animations for this year's entry, which is over a thousand more than usual. Patrick Gilmore, one of the game dev's, said that the team was continuing to add more as the game is developed. 

We also got to see the game's new mo-cop studio in action, and Gilmore revealed that it's two times bigger, which means the team can seamlessly capture moves, entrances and elaborate cutscenes that take place in and out of the ring.

WWE 2K22 has new face-scanning technology
WWE 2K22 will use an all-new face-scanning rig that’s equipped with 80 high-resolution cameras that allow Visual Concepts to create high-precision 3D sculpts of the superstars. The clip below shows WWE stars Booker T and Ric Flair enter the contraption – which looks like Darth Vader’s personal chambers – and pull various faces as they get scanned by the cameras.

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WWE 2K22: what we’d like to see

While many wrestling game veterans would like to see WWE 2K22 build upon the rock-solid foundations that games like WWF No Mercy established, most people are clamoring for popular modes that were axed from previous games, like GM Mode from Smackdown vs Raw 2006. 

GM Mode let you sign wrestlers, book shows and create feuds, and players were awarded ratings based on how exciting the matches were. In a post on the official 2K forums, which asked fans for their top three requests (which not everyone stuck to), GM Mode was a prominent request.

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WWE 2K22 Release Date: Gameplay trailer revealed along with major delay

The WWE 2K22 release date has been delayed, but fans are still hopeful the title can deliver when that time finally comes.

Following the change of plans, here's everything we know so far about the WWE 2K22 release date and how soon payers will learn more about the title.

Latest News - WWE & 2K could break up if the game doesn't succeed

With WWE 2K22 officially delayed, there was some hope of what signal this sends about a commitment to making sure the title is high quality upon release.

However, we're now learning that WWE fought hard to prevent the delay, and it took the work of developers to get the time they need to do things the right way.

With tensions at an all time high, we took a look at a recent report showing why 2K and WWE could be done if WWE 2K22 doesn't absolutely deliver.

WWE 2K22 Release Date

We've finally learned that WWE 2K22 is currently scheduled for a release date in March 2022.

This is a significant change for the series which has traditionally released in October and the Fall during recent years, and we were initially expecting a release date close to October 19, 2021.

The delay is frustrating in some ways, but it's a great sign that developers are committed to making a quality game by the time WWE 2K22 is finally released.

Announcement Trailer at WrestleMania 37

The first big news for WWE 2K22 landed as the reveal trailer premiered during Night One of WrestleMania 37.

This early teaser gave fans a look at gameplay footage, though they did note it's from "a work-in-progress build."

This was just the beginning, and we got an even better look when a second trailer dropped during SummerSlam 2021.

Early Access

While WWE 2K22 is likely to offer some major pre order bonuses, especially if players decide to get the Deluxe Edition, it doesn't look like Early Access will be one of them.

While several sports titles have begun to jump on the Early Access bandwagon and allow players to start playing three or four days before launch, it looks unlikely anyone gets the full game until the WWE 2K22 release date.

We should know for sure once pre orders go live, which is likely to land after the WWE 2K22 cover star is revealed, and we've looked at multiple potential contenders for this year's slot.

WWE 2K22 Demo

We didn't see a WWE 2K20 demo when that game released in 2019, but with NBA 2K21 seeing success with their own demo that could be set to change this year.

WWE 2K22 release date early access demo pre order next gen
click to enlarge
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Especially with the hiccups from a few years ago, 2K Games and WWE could make major strides to remedying those mistakes by giving players the opportunity to play the game themselves before the WWE 2K22 release date.

While a demo would likely be limited with basic gameplay and modes, it would at least allow them to prove the game works as intended and isn't as broken as WWE 2K20 was at launch.

WWE 2K22 using same face scan tech as NBA 2K22

We recently started getting a flurry of major news about the upcoming release of NBA 2K22, including reveals of cover athletes like the legendary Dirk Nowitzki.

With 2K Sports and Visual Concepts handling the creation of both NBA 2K22 and WWE 2K22, it's no shock to realize that the digital face scanning camera rig they created has now been spotted in behind the scenes footage for both games.

After severe criticism about the graphics, face scan, and models in WWE 2K20, this is the best sign yet that WWE 2K22 could be the best the series has ever looked.

Going Next Gen

This looks likely to be the first year that the WWE 2K video game series lands on next gen platforms, and it could be a major opportunity for the title.

WWE 2K22 release date early access next gen screenshot
click to enlarge
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If we see WWE 2K22 go next gen, they could add next gen-exclusive game modes or other special features in addition to general graphics improvements.

The technology is there, but only time will tell they're being utilized when we finally arrive at this year's WWE 2K22 release date.

We took a closer look here at some of the ways WWE 2K22 can go bigger than ever with next gen technology.

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Brand New WWE 2K22 OMG Moments That Should Be Included

WWE 2K22: When can pre-orders be made?

WWE 2K22 is on the way following a year's hiatus and there is huge pressure on 2K Games for their latest creation to perform.

Such was the huge negative feedback that the last game received, the gaming organisation opted to cancel 2K21 to put all of their focus on refining the system mechanics as a whole.

2K20 had a wide variety of bug, glitches and in-game crashes that made it almost unplayable at times, which hugely disappointed the loyal fanbase that the franchise had accumulated up to that point.

Because of this 2K have been working relentlessly hard to reassure their fans that their previous effort was just a one-off and produce a title that is worthy of the next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S machines will be housing WWE 2K22 and fans are praying that there is not a repeat from previous years.

That being said, the old game was the only one that came across with problems, while many others such as 2K13 have been lauded as some of the greatest wrestling games of all time.

So we know that 2K Games are more than capable of making a WWE title that can stand out for the rest, can they pull it off with 2K22? Only time will tell.

Read more: WWE 2K22: Leaks, Release Date, Game Modes, Trailer, Roster Reveal and Everything You Need To Know

Early Access

WWE 2K22 is likely to offer several significant bonuses for pre-ordering the game, especially if they provide a Deluxe Version that came with 2K20.

We doubt that Early Access will be included in this because we imagine they will want as much time as possible to iron out the issues that raised previously. While other sports titles do this, it looks like WWE 2K22 will only be available when the game is released in full.

As well as this, a date has not been provided in relation to pre-ordering at this time.

This article will be updated as soon as more information is made available by 2K Games.

You can find all of the latest Esports and Gaming News right here at GiveMeSport.

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