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John Cena is cover star of WWE 2K23, 2K announces

2K and WWE have announced that the 16-time world champion John Cena will be the cover star of WWE 2K23. He will be featured in three different covers for the game, Standard, Deluxe and Icon Editions.

Aside from being the star cover, Cena is also the executive soundtrack producer for the game and the star of this year’s 2K Showcase. According to Showcase lead designer Dino Zucconi, the game developers have intended to make Cena the cover and focus of the game since the beginning.

“When we were planning this out early last year, he was coming up on his 20 years in WWE, which works out nicely because we’re coming up on 21 years, but I believe that makes it the 20th anniversary. And so we get to keep saying number 20,” Zucconi said.

Other than Cena, fans can anticipate seeing more familiar faces from WWE Superstars and Legends in WWE 2K23, including Roman Reigns, “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes, Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

WWE 2K23 will be launched via early access on March 14 and available for the public on March 17 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.

“It is a pleasure to tell the story of my career through the WWE 2K23 Showcase,” Cena said. “2K’s done a fantastic job capturing and invigorating the WWE 2K franchise through this concept, and I am honored to grace the cover of WWE 2K23.”

Returning, new features in WWE 2K23

One of the core features of WWE 2K23 is the 2K Showcase, focusing on John Cena and his two-decade-long career, with himself doing the narration. Here, players get to play as some of Cena’s toughest opponents and try to take him down.

The game also has the fan-favorite WarGames mode, where players can engage in a 3v3 and 4v4 match in side-by-side rings and a double-steel cage. It is available in single-player and multiplayer modes and will have players join teams of three or four wrestlers.

Other game modes featured in WWE 2K23 include MyFaction, MyGM, MyRise and Universe.

MyFaction is a card-collection game mode that comes with an online multiplayer feature, which was absent in last year’s iteration. Lynell Jinks, visual concept creative director for WWE 2K, explained that this mode is a way to get the newest ring attire for the Superstars in the game. In the mode, players can pit their faction against another player’s faction.

In MyGM, players act as WWE general managers in search of ratings and revenue. Jinks said the developers had implemented some changes in the mode. Two more GMs will be available for players to choose and they can have up to four playable GMs at a time on more match types and seasons.

In MyRise, players follow several wrestling career storylines, two of which are called “The Lock” and “The Legacy.” Players will be able to import custom-created Superstars to the mode.

In the Universe mode, players can make their own version of WWE, where they manage Superstar rosters, feuds, champions, weekly shows and premium live events. Some changes made to this game mode include a reworked story system. Creation Suite also returns in WWE 2K23 with the ability to cross-platform share custom Superstars, GMs and arenas.