World Wrestling Entertainment is something of a ubiquitous presence in the video game industry lately. We’re at the point where John Cena has become an official Nintendo Switch spokesman, something that would have been absurd just a few short years ago, prior to the conscious decision from WWE to shift toward a PG rating and appeal to more family-friendly platforms. Now, WWE has become deeply embedded in the fabric of the video game community as well – the company routinely sends out various superstars to major multimedia events like E3 2017, maintains a YouTube Let’s Play channel that has over a million subscribers, and even has superstars skipping pay-per-view events to play Destiny.
Perhaps that attention to a distinct multimedia presence is what led WWE to announce the new WWE 2K18 cover star on ESPN rather than through its own official channels. WWE superstar and former world heavyweight champion Seth Rollins appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter to reveal the new face of WWE 2K18, and, predictably, the man on the cover was the spitting image of the one holding the game’s case:
— Seth Rollins (@WWERollins) June 19, 2017
And here’s a closer look at the game’s cover image:
The decision to put Seth Rollins, a full-time employee with WWE who is easily one of the company’s top young talents, on the cover might seem like an obvious choice, but it is one that WWE and 2K Games haven’t made in a long time. Dating back to WWE 2K14, Seth Rollins is the youngest cover star in the series by at least five years, and the last two titles were headlined by a part-time employee just shy of 40 and a former legend who is far removed from most of WWE’s programming outside of regular podcast appearances.
It will be interesting to see what Rollins’ cover appearance means for WWE 2K18‘s gameplay as well, as past iterations of the series have seen a story mode dedicated to the cover athlete that tells a story unique to their WWE experiences. Given that Rollins has been in a number of high-profile feuds with legends like Triple H, John Cena, and Brock Lesnar, however, a story mode following the exploits of The Kingslayer – as Rollins is known to the WWE universe these days – might be a very compelling one.
What do you think of the decision to make Rollins the cover star of WWE 2K18? Was there a better choice? Let us know in the comments.
WWE 2K18 releases on October 17, 2017, for PS4 and Xbox One.