AEW Fight Forever, the officially licensed All Elite Wrestling game developed by Yuke’s and published by THQ Nordic, is expected to launch this year. But the barrage of comments from AEW leadership and game developers has left fans confused about the actual state of the game’s development.
The confusion can be traced back to February when the aforementioned wrestler and AEW executive vice president Kenny Omega Swerve City Podcast (through wrestling zone) that “game is done”, but is currently in limbo trying to finalize the ESRB rating. This is the time reiterated by AEW president Tony Khan in a media debate following the AEW Revolution pay-per-view event:
“I can’t say an exact release date,” he said. “There’s a lot of stuff involved with that, and I don’t want to step on anyone with that. It’s coming very soon. Game over.”
This all sounds pretty definitive, but Per Hollenbro, senior community manager for THQ Nordic, recently took to Twitch and Twitter to expose this. On Twitter, he wrote that AEW Fight Forever was “working great” but was “not 100% complete” and called the discussion that it was made “just another Twitter rumor.”
I mean if you want an unfinished game we can definitely release it now
The game is working great and getting there, but still not 100% done so I’m afraid it’s just another twitter rumor
– Zyddie (@Zyddie) April 8, 2023
On Twitch (via Wrestling Zone). He explained that as a publisher, THQ Nordic does not consider the game complete until the game is ready to launch, including factors such as platform certification, retail distribution, etc. also said that AEW Fight Forever is “in good shape.”
“I don’t believe anyone lies,” he said. I don’t believe there is any kind of misinformation of any kind. I believe some people simply see it differently because they don’t see it through the eyes of a publisher. A lot goes into it. And for me, as a member of the publisher, for me what completes a game and what doesn’t is very different.”
Talk to Kotaku, Hollenbro clarified further, giving a list of elements AEW Fight Forever still needs to work on before it can be considered complete, including passing QA tests, localization in seven languages, “polishing”, retail deals and shipping, certifications, platform optimization, marketing plans, and yes, that elusive ESRB rating. An additional spokesperson for THQ Nordic told the outlet that “AEW: Fight Forever will be released upon completion.”
AEW Fight Forever — THQ Nordic 2022 Digital Showcase Screen
It’s also worth pointing out that AEW Fight Forever also in a trademark dispute with Game Changer Wrestling, the company disputed AEW’s trademark “Fight Forever” due to its use of the phrase for a charity event in 2021. GCW was extended until May 31, 2023 to object to the claim and is unknown. how will this affect the title or release date of AEW Fight Forever. But needless to say, this dispute is likely not to speed things up.
We’ve had several chances to see what AEW Fight Forever has in store, including a actual preview at Gamescom last year and chat with some AEW wrestlers at IGN Fan Fest. Currently, AEW Fight Forever is still scheduled for release around 2023.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.