Why Does Pro Wrestling Struggle to Produce a Good Video Game?

Why Does Wrestling Always Struggle to Produce a Good Video Game?

If you’ve ever found yourself pondering why wrestling video games never quite hit the mark, you’re not alone. Despite the excitement and drama of professional wrestling, it seems like the gaming world just can’t seem to capture that magic in digital form.

But why is that? Let’s step into the ring and explore some of the reasons why wrestling games have consistently struggled to produce a knockout hit.

Balancing Realism and Fun

One of the biggest challenges in creating wrestling video games is striking the right balance between realism and fun. On one hand, fans want a game that accurately reflects the athleticism and excitement of real-life wrestling matches. They want realistic physics, authentic movesets, and true-to-life wrestler animations. But on the other hand, they also want a game that’s easy to pick up and play, with over-the-top action and flashy special moves.

Finding that sweet spot between realism and fun is no easy feat, and it often leads to compromises that leave players feeling unsatisfied. Some games lean too heavily into realism, sacrificing accessibility and enjoyment in the process. Others focus too much on arcade-style gameplay, sacrificing depth and authenticity. Striking the perfect balance is like trying to execute a flawless moonsault – it’s a difficult task that few have mastered.

Licensing Limitations

Another hurdle that wrestling video games often face is the complex web of licensing agreements that govern the use of real-life wrestlers and promotions. Unlike other sports video games which can easily secure licences for teams and players, wrestling games must navigate a maze of contracts and negotiations to include the likenesses of popular wrestlers.

This often results in a limited roster of playable characters, with many fan favourites left on the sidelines due to licensing issues. Additionally, wrestling promotions may impose strict restrictions on how their wrestlers can be portrayed in the game limiting the creative freedom of developers and stifling the game’s potential.

Technical Challenges

Creating a wrestling video game is no small feat from a technical standpoint. From realistic character models and fluid animations to dynamic physics and intricate move sets, there are countless technical challenges that developers must overcome to create a truly immersive wrestling experience.

Unfortunately, these technical hurdles can sometimes lead to rushed development cycles and subpar gameplay experiences. Developers may cut corners to meet deadlines, resulting in glitchy graphics, clunky controls, and other technical issues that detract from the overall enjoyment of the game.

Lack of Innovation

Finally, one of the reasons why wrestling games struggle to produce a good video game may simply be a lack of innovation. While other genres of video games continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible, wrestling games often feel stuck in a rut, recycling the same tired gameplay mechanics and modes year after year.

Without meaningful innovation and fresh ideas, wrestling games risk becoming stale and repetitive, failing to capture the imagination of players and leaving them hungry for something new. It’s time for new game developers to step out of their comfort zones and explore new avenues for innovation in the world of wrestling video games.


The struggle to produce a good wrestling video game is a complex and multifaceted issue. From balancing realism and fun to navigating licensing limitations and technical challenges, developers face numerous obstacles in their quest to create the ultimate wrestling experience.

But despite these challenges, there’s still hope for the future of wrestling video games. With advances in technology, innovative game design, and a renewed focus on fan feedback, there’s the potential to break free from the constraints of the past and deliver a wrestling game that truly delivers on its promise.

So, fellow wrestling fans, let’s keep our fingers crossed and our controllers at the ready. Who knows? The next great wrestling video game could be just around the corner, waiting to deliver a suplex of gaming greatness straight to our living rooms.

credit: Gerweck

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