In one of the strangest predicaments ever, WWE 2K15 could end up being delayed due to no fault of the development cycle itself, but to the ongoing unhealthy relationship between CM Punk and the WWE.
For those not in the know, this past week, CM Punk’s lawyers sent a 22 page document directly to WWE headquarters. Essentially, the document pertains to the legalities of using Punk’s likeliness in various WWE related features now that his contract is officially up. One of those items is the upcoming WWE 2K15 video game, of which Punk isn’t only a playable character, but a major component in a 2K Showcase mode that will follow his rivalry with John Cena.
2K Showcase can be summed up as the campaign mode for WWE 2K15, so if 2K were to remove Punk from the game, they would also be stripping away a key component of the package. The developers are in a tight situation as to where to go from here, but it’s in no way their fault.
Also, if you’re wondering why 2K would make CM Punk the focal point of the game when there is all this bad blood between him and the company, it’s because everyone was on good terms during the beginning stages of creating the game. It wasn’t until January of 2014 that CM Punk abruptly departed, despite the fact that his contract hadn’t ended.
Another interesting thing to note is that we still have yet to see official gameplay footage of WWE 2K15. It can’t be said whether the current situation with Punk is the reason why, but it is admittedly strange that nothing has been shown. All that exists is leaked gameplay footage from when it was playable at gamescom.
Ultimately, if 2K were to release WWE 2K15 as planned on October 28th, WWE wouldn’t just have to pay CM Punk royalties, but they could also face further legal action since Punk owns his license and trademark. It’s also possible that 2K would as well, considering that they are the publishers. The whole ordeal is an unfortunate circumstance – especially considering how anticipated this installment of the franchise is thanks to a major graphics overhaul and new features – but these are all major businesses involved. As such, they need to be smart about how they proceed.
When there are further updates on the situation we’ll definitely let you know, so stay tuned.