It has been just under 14 years since EA, Def Jam, and AKI Corporation got together and released Def Jam: Fight for NY, a hip-hop wrestling game that used actual artists signed with the Def Jam label as fighters in the game. The title has held kind a cult classic status since its release, but excitement has recently been swirling with Def Jam’s social media teasing a return of the wrestling game.
A few weeks ago, the Def Jam Recordings Twitter account posted a mock up of a PlayStation 4 box showing a hypothetical Def Jam game and asking fans who they would like to see in the game.
HYPOTHETICALLY, who’d you like to see on the cover if this game made a comeback? pic.twitter.com/8c8bJR9RNA
— Def Jam Recordings (@defjam) June 29, 2018
Most fans just wrote it off as an overzealous social media manager trying to raise engagement by bringing up an old game that people liked. That is, until today, when it seems like Def Jam has decided to just lean into it.
If there is an art to subtlety, it is not being applied here.
The Def Jam games were praised for their use of the AKI engine, a wrestling engine created by the AKI corporation that focused heavily on a grapple system. AKI left the realm of wrestling games and is now known as Syn Sophia, a developer who is best known for developing the Nintendo series Style Savvy. So if a new game is being developed, it likely isn’t going to resemble what it was known for a few generations ago. It also seems unlikely EA would be involved again.
Not to mention that many of the rappers under the label for previous games are now elsewhere, with DMX notably in jail for tax fraud.
Or maybe it’s nothing and the account realizes that engagement numbers for the original tweet were really high. We’ll just have to wait and see what Def Jam has up their sleeves, if anything at all.