There was a chance that another company outside of Acclaim may have made the ECW video game in the year 2000. While the video games were never critically-acclaimed, new information provides a ‘what if’ scenario for the alternative brand in the video game space.
Rockstar Games, best known as the developers of Grand Theft Auto was once in discussion to develop an ECW game as they were in the midst of building their most famous IP.
Kevin Gill Set Up A Meeting Between Rockstar Games And ECW
Rockstar Games and its knack for making games with a rebellious spirit could have fit the Extreme Championship Wrestling brand very well. Today, GCW represents the rebellious style of the ECW of old, and Kevin Gill, GCW commentator, once facilitated a meeting between Rockstar Games and the Paul Heyman-led ECW.
Gil was once credited as part of Rockstar Games’ production team for titles such as Midnight Club: Street Racing. Earlier this year, Gill told Tru Heel Heat that he wants to put together a deal for Rockstar to make a video game for the land of the extreme.
“I actually put together a deal for Rockstar Games to do the ECW video game,” Gill said in the interview. “I had put together a deal with [ECW owner] Paul Heyman, we had a series of meetings, and one weekend I rented a van and brought the whole Rockstar Games team, like a 15-passenger van, and brought everyone down to the ECW Arena in Philly to see it in person.”
“[ECW]’s financial situation was getting very shaky and at that time, this is 1998, could have been 1999, all the talent was leaving,” Gill recalls. “There were a lot of questions in the [wrestling press] about talent being owed money and those types of things.
“And video games take so many years to develop, and cost so much to develop. It was put to me like, ‘do you think ECW will be around in two and a half or three years when we put out this game?’”
Overall, Gill says they were the top suitor to work on the game but ultimately it fell apart because of issues behind the scenes.
“The funny thing was, there was a bidding war to get the ECW game, and that stuff happened behind the scenes, so they put out a public call saying ‘we’re open to bidding’.
“We were the top suitor, we made the top offer and we had the signed deal back, but nobody knew publicly at that time. So for ECW, it sucks, they wanted to work with us, we wanted to work with them.”
The eventual extreme video games, “Hardcore Revolution” and “Anarchy Rulz” ended up being reskinned takes on Acclaim’s WWF Attitude with minor changes. Acclaim would produce three more wrestling games after their extreme outings. The company would release the Legends of Wrestling series up until 2005 and the company would close its doors in 2010.