|Release||October 22, 2019|
WWE 2K20 is a professional wrestling video game developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. It was released worldwide on October 22, 2019, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It is the twenty-first game in the WWE game series and the seventh under the WWE 2K banner. The sequel to WWE 2K19, 2K20 is the first game in the series to not be developed by Yuke's, which developed every entry in the series since its inception in 2000. They were replaced by Visual Concepts, who had previously worked with Yuke's as co-developers.
WWE 2K20 received negative reviews, with critics noting a regression in quality compared to its predecessor. The game has since gained notoriety in both the wrestling and gaming community for its many bugs at launch and technical issues. The backlash towards the game resulted in 2K cancelling a planned sequel WWE 2K21.
WWE 2K20's 2K Showcase mode revolves around the Four Horsewomen of WWE (Bayley, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks). Players take control of different unique models of Bayley, Banks, Lynch & Flair, in 15 matches. The 2K Towers mode, first introduced in WWE 2K19, made its return to the series. WWE 2K20 features a female MyCareer story alongside its male story, the first for 2K. (Previous THQ games had female career/stories)
The WWE Towers Mode Returned, with one of the towers centered around Roman Reigns, with matches with unique commentary from Extreme Rules in 2013 to Stomping Grounds in 2019.
WWE 2K20 is the first game in the series to be solely developed by Visual Concepts; previous entries were co-developed by Yuke's. Eminem was reported to be curating the soundtrack of the game early in development, but talks with the rapper fell through after the news was leaked before it was made official.
On August 5, 2019, 2K announced WWE 2K20, with a trailer announcing Becky Lynch and Roman Reigns as cover stars. In the trailer, it features various WWE Superstars & Legends attending a party at a huge mansion, before it's interrupted by Lynch crashing through the glass ceiling. Lynch then apologizes to the mansion's owner, who is revealed to be Hulk Hogan. Lynch then turns around to face Reigns, who soon praises her for the scene, before then revealing them as the cover stars and the tagline "Step Inside". This marks the first game in the WWE 2K series to feature a female cover star (most recently, THQ's WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 featured Torrie Wilson on the NTSC cover of the game), and the first game since WWE All Stars to have more than one cover star.
The collector's edition was themed around the 20th anniversary of WWE SmackDown, including a signed card that featured a signed plaque from either Kurt Angle, Edge or Rey Mysterio, and a plaque featuring a piece of the SmackDown 2002–2008 ring mat.
Four expansions were released for the game as downloadable content under the banner "WWE 2K Originals", which include Showcase episodes, arenas, and character skins and accessories based on fantasy settings. All DLC expansions (except for "Bump in the Night") were made available as part of a season pass, while the season pass was bundled with the deluxe and collector's editions of the game. The first, "Bump in the Night" (which was also included as a pre-order bonus), is a horror-themed expansion centered upon Bray Wyatt's "The Fiend" persona, the second expansion "Wasteland Wanderers" is a dystopian-themed expansion centered upon Seth Rollins, the third is based on WWE's digital series Southpaw Regional Wrestling (a parody of local wrestling promotions in the 1980s), and the fourth, "Empire of Tomorrow", carries a futuristic theme and a focus on female characters.
Following the departure of Yuke's, WWE 2K20 received "unfavorable reviews" on all platforms according to review aggregator Metacritic. Reviewers criticized the physics, graphics, targeting, change in controls and the numerous glitches.
Brian Mazique of Forbes stated that "while a few of the legacy strengths such as the creation suite are still strong, the most important part, the gameplay is in a bad place." For IGN Brian Fowler said the game was a "mess", and that the game's quality had degraded since its predecessor, and many of the character models looked like they had "crawled out of a PS2-era wrestling game." GamesRadar+'s Ben Wilson gave the verdict that "WWE 2K20 plays like a work-in-progress demo that's yet to be stress-tested – but there's a decent game somewhere under the hot mess." Writing for GameSpot, Richard Wakeling criticized the MyCareer mode, the new control layout and the numerous technical issues, and declared as the worst of the WWE 2K series, and the moment the series "hit rock bottom".
The game received notable backlash on social media platforms, where the hashtag #FixWWE2K20 began trending. Many players who purchased the collector's edition revealed that their art card was not signed, with Edge & 2K immediately sending the editions back for re-signs. At the start of 2020, the game was rendered almost unplayable due to a "Y2k20" bug.
WWE 2K20 was named among the worst games of 2019 by IGN, Metacritic,  Mint and PlayStation Universe. The game was among the nominations for WrestleCrap's Gooker Award for the worst gimmick, storyline, or event in wrestling in 2019, losing to the main event of the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. The site noted that Hell in a Cell having WWE 2K20 as its presenting sponsor may have foreshadowed the show's quality, remarking that "seeing the Gooker winner being sponsored by the second runner up for the award is a whole new rancid territory."
In April 2020, former WWE video games writer Justin Leeper reported that the successor to WWE 2K20, WWE 2K21 had been cancelled. The decision was made due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the video game industry and the poor sales and reception for 2K20. Leeper would go on to state that 2K would publish a different WWE game in 2020, while WWE 2K22 will be released in 2021 for current gen consoles and "probably" PCs.
In April 2020, during WWE's 1st Quarter Earnings Call, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was asked if 2K21 was cancelled, before he then turned the question over to WWE CFO, Frank Riddick, who revealed that the game was cancelled. On April 27, 2020, 2K announced the spin-off title WWE 2K Battlegrounds, which was released on September 18, 2020, to a mixed reception.