AEW’s link to the video game world has been well established from the start. From the Elite dressing up as Street Fighter characters to Miro and Kip Sabian playing arcade machines in the crowd, AEW has made every effort possible to appeal to the video game crowd.
The recent announcement that several AEW games are currently in production isn’t surprising as such, however, the biggest talking point amongst fans has been the inclusion of director Hideyuki Iwashita in regards to AEW’s console game.
Who is Hideyuki Iwashita? He isn’t exactly a household name, although he is legendary amongst wrestling fans who grew up playing his classic titles.
His most famous work was as director for the much-loved No Mercy in 2000 for the N64. He then moved on to produce and direct the series of Def Jam games from 2003 to 2006. Then in 2008, he served as director for SimCity Creator. After that, there are no other substantial credits to his name.
However, although he wasn’t the director as such, Iwashita played a role in the development and production of other AKI wrestling games too, notably WCW Vs NWO: Revenge and Wrestlemania 2000. He also played a part in the production of Virtual Pro Wrestling 64 back in 1997. Along with the aforementioned No Mercy, these titles and generally considered to be some of the best wrestling games ever made.
After finishing up with SimCity Creator in 2008, Iwashita began working at a company called Studio Garage in Tokyo, a company that helps other video game companies plan out their new titles strategically. In 2016, he then began working at Syn Sophia (formerly the AKI Corporation) again.
It’s clear that AEW wants their console game to boast similar stylistic elements to Iwashita’s games from two decades ago. And judging by the recent gameplay footage, the inspiration is certainly present.
Additionally, AEW’s console game is being developed by Yuke’s, a company most commonly associated with the WWE 2k series. But after some issues with 2K Sports in 2018, Yuke’s parted ways with the company.
You can watch footage of the recent AEW games announcement below.
AEW’s upcoming games currently have no release date.