All Elite Wrestling, the pro wrestling startup whose weekly show Dynamite airs on TNT every Wednesday, will be announcing its first lineup of videogames today. The company’s president, Tony Khan, spilled a few basic details on a press conference after AEW’s Full Gear event on Saturday night, but the official announcements will be happening on the AEW Games YouTube channel today at 6 p.m. ET.
Somebody, somewhere, got a little trigger-happy, though, and seemingly published the official AEW Games website a few hours early. The main landing page for that site was briefly up earlier today, and mentioned three games. It seems to confirm some of what Khan mentioned after Full Gear on Saturday; he mentioned the company was working on “a few” games, including a console release and a general manager simulation game. Assuming the info on the page is legit, and not an attempt at misdirection, here’s what we know about those games.
The first game mentioned on the leaked site is a console game “currently in development.” Based on its logo showing up on the AEW games site, it’s presumably being made by Yuke’s, the same studio that developed most of the WWE games released between 2000 and 2018. Yuke’s might be a controversial choice for some—as often happens with annualized sports games, their last few WWE titles received significant criticism from fans and critics due to a lack of innovation and persistent issues that would go unfixed between installments. Unfortunately that’s kind of the nature of games that come out every year—you see the same basic problems in all major sports titles, with a major refresh coming along only after many years of familiar retreads. Yuke’s last wrestling game came out in 2018, and assuming AEW’s game comes out in 2021, that’s a good amount of time to create something new from the ground up.
The site also mentioned a game called AEW Elite General Manager, which, again, is one of the game types Khan mentioned on Saturday. There’s a long history of wrestling sims for computers, with games like Extreme Warfare Revenge, Promotion Wars and the TNM series letting players run their own promotions. You don’t actually wrestle the matches, but basically run your own promotion, akin to sims like Football Manager. You build your rosters, craft storylines and angles, book matches, and depending on the game, your success can be judged by your TV ratings, profits, match quality, or more. This is probably my favorite kind of wrestling game, and one that I can become dangerously addicted to whenever I falter; I’ve been asking for a high-quality mobile game like this for at least seven years now, and it seems like somebody might be about to make it happen.
The final game mentioned on that site is AEW Casino: Double or Nothing. Double or Nothing is the name of AEW’s first and flagship live event, a pay-per-view that was held in Las Vegas in 2019 and was scheduled to happen live on the strip once more in 2020 before the pandemic hit. Could this be a mobile slot game, or some other kind of Vegas or gambling-themed title? All we know for now is the name and a promo image with AEW champ Jon Moxley grimacing over a table full of poker chips.
If you’re a fan of wrestling games or AEW, this is potentially some exciting news. We’ll learn more at 6 p.m.—just over an hour away. Until then, here’s a teaser the company released last week.