2K Games revealed the entire roster to WWE 2K Battlegrounds today, and while the roster is impressive, it has a bit of an issue. The reveal was done as an IGN exclusive this morning as they showed off all of the superstars who will be a part of it. The game will come with 70 wrestlers at launch with names ranging from AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan all the way to the (missing) Roman Reigns and the (inactive) Becky Lynch. But the big thing we noticed about the roster is that there are a lot of Legends in the mix. 22 to be specific out of the 70, making nearly a third of the game's roster made up of people who either don't wrestle anymore or in some cases (like Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) don't work for the company anymore. Sure, you're getting Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, but those two men have been a fixture of almost every WWE/F game since 1997. Why is the new talent not being featured more?
The old-school roster doesn't get any lighter when you look at the post-launch roster, as you can see below. Another 64 characters will be added later on, and it was revealed there are DLC characters on the way yet to be revealed. Of the 64 others on the way, another 36 (56%) are legends or inactive or fired wrestlers. Making over a third of the roster people who don't wrestle for WWE. So why are we bringing this up? There have been complaints over the years that WWE has failed to really branch out and make new talent in the company and that no one can really get over anymore. While that's a much bigger discussion for Jude or Chad to get into on our website, the reality of it shows up in the game. Why launch with 22 inactive wrestlers when they could have made the entire roster your current talent pool and promote them first?
It isn't really an issue for 2K Games or even this new game in general as fans old and new will most likely purchase it. But it seems to be very telling of where WWE as a product is these days where the main branding for the game relies more on nostalgia (especially from the Attitude Era) to promote and help sell the game. Just look at the image below as you have six modern wrestlers and six inactive wrestlers, and the two front and center are… Stone Cold and The Rock. Hopefully, they will add more current members to the roster, and with any luck, they'll come from NXT. The game looks pretty cool and we look forward to playing it on September 18th. But as far as WWE's branding goes (which we're sure this happened only with their approval), it shows the company is living in the past and is having issues building a credible future.