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A STRUGGLING MARKET FOR WRESTLING GAMES

By Kendall Jenkins on 2020-10-15 09:44:00

Wrestling as a form of entertainment continues to move from strength to strength remaining as one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world – whilst as always there are ups and downs from year to year, the performances are always exciting and the audience it captures from young kids to grown adults speaks for itself. However, one area that has struggled over the past decade or so has been within the yearly game release and how mixed a response has been had – so what is going wrong with wrestling games?

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When looking at other big yearly entries in the sporting category from names like FIFA and Madden, little is changed yet both are able to find success with record sales year after year, and although both come under a lot of scrutiny for not really changing anything, throwing the same price tag on the product and shipping it out with the hope of now earning more through pack sales than game sales, wrestling titles typically haven’t been able to follow despite attempting the same. The earlier titles had a bit of an excuse even though many were well received at the time – the technology was still developing and there were a lot of holes in what was possible, but the games were still fun, they were still entertaining to play – the newer games can’t make the same claim however, development practices have come a long way and it’s difficult to overlook all of the bugs, glitches, and just outright poor performance for the good aspects of the games.

This isn’t to say all titles are bad as the rise of more portable gaming options has led to other genres picking up the wrestling mantle and turning them into enjoyable titles – various mobile titles for example have been released that let players create their own character and play through similar to the fully fledged titles, but are simplified in a way that don’t add all the fluff, other genres such as casinos have also started to use bigger names in wrestling to promote their games too an despite the recent adjustments in regulation to make participation options more difficult for many, different non gamstop casinos have had features rely on wrestling heroes to promote their games.

The solution is quite tricky here, and may not be something that’s worth all that much investment from the wrestling organisations – although as similar efforts are being seen in other combat sports such as the UFC it’s unlikely the games will stopped being pushed forward. Perhaps a new approach, something to break the mould from the yearly releases filled with issues, some changes could start to be seen but with the core gameplay being part of the issue as it isn’t as simple to translate real life acrobatics into engaging gameplay mechanics, it may be the cross the games have to bear until more advances are made for fluidity or engagement, although there may be little incentive if some players buy without much consideration.

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