Are you a fan of the annual WWE 2K video game series? If so, today’s announcement should bring a tear to your eye: Stone Cold Steve Austin is the 2K17 cover athlete.
Austin told WWE.com that it caught him completely off guard. “I figure I’d been gone for such a long time… To get that phone call and be on the cover of what is going to be the biggest, baddest video game that there’s ever been, with the roster and all the technology, and to be out of the ring for so many years meant a whole lot to me.”
— Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) July 6, 2015
While this is the first time that Austin has been featured as the main cover superstar on a WWE game in many years, it hasn’t been that long since Austin has made an appearance on a special variant cover. Back in 2012 when THQ was hyping up its Attitude-Era mode for WWE ’13 and had CM Punk as the cover athlete, the company released a special edition of the game that featured Austin’s trademark skull and came bundled with a copy of matches from his DVD collection.
This year’s cover ties in with a rumored “Stone Cold” Steve Austin story mode that will cover Austin’s biggest matches and feuds from his career, similar to the aforementioned Attitude-Era mode from WWE ’13.
Since taking over the franchise in 2013, 2K games has featured The Rock, John Cena, and now Stone Cold Steve Austin. This breaks tradition with what THQ used to do by featuring only modern superstars (back in the days of Smackdown vs RAW, the company featured an entire lineup of guys). This also breaks another tradition – announcing the cover on RAW. In years past, WWE and 2K have hosted a special segment on RAW that showcased the cover in a dramatic fashion, usually loosely tied to whatever story line that superstar was currently involved with.
WWE 2K16 is currently set to be released for all major systems (Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, and PS3) on October 27th, 2015. No word yet on a PC or mobile release.