WCW/nWo Live (lost build of cancelled PlayStation professional wrestling game; 1998)

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Poster for WCW/nWo Live when it was the original title for the Nintendo 64 game WCW/nWo Revenge.

Status: Lost

WCW/nWo Live was a cancelled professional wrestling game based on professional wrestling organisation World Championship Wrestling. Developed by Yuke's, it was set to be published by THQ as a PlayStation exclusive in late-1998.


Initially, this PlayStation professional game was not originally given the name WCW/nWo Live. Instead, it was titled WCW/nWo Revenge, which is the name attached to a Nintendo 64 game released in late-1998. This confusion can be explained by the fact that the N64 game and the PlayStation title swapped names during development. Indeed, one poster promoted the former under WCW/nWo Live. During development, it was decided that the N64 game would be renamed WCW/nWo Revenge, whereas the PlayStation title would get the WCW/nWo moniker. It is unknown why THQ, who was set to publish both games, decided to swap the names around.[1]


According to a GameSpot article, the development of WCW/nWo Live was based around New Japan Pro Wrestling's Toukon Retsuden 3, which was a Japanese-exclusive PlayStation title released in March 1998.[2] This connection is strengthened further by the provision of screenshots which actually came from Toukon Retsuden 3. The game would include over 30 wrestlers, half of which represented WCW or nWo, while the remainder consisted of Japanese wrestlers. The game included detailed customisation options, allowing the player to create a wrestler with the ability of changing their height, weight, clothes, hair, and tattoos, as well as specifying their moves and rants.

GameSpot also mentioned that signature finishing moves and licenced entrance music would be incorporated in the ambition towards making the game realistic. It also noted that the game ran at 60 frames per second, even when in four-player mode.[3]


During the game's development, it was announced THQ had decided not to renew its licence to publish WCW games.[4] Therefore, Electronic Arts signed a five-year deal with WCW to release wrestling titles from 1999 onwards.[5] Thus, there was limited time for THQ to publish WCW games, and had attempted to prepare WCW/nWo Live for a late-1998 release. Ultimately, THQ could not meet its deadline, causing the cancellation of the game. Nevertheless, after THQ signed a contract to publish games from the World Wrestling Federation, it began to rework its cancelled game that would maximise the usage of the WWF brand. Thus, THQ would release WWF SmackDown! in March 2000, which harnessed the Toukon Retsuden 3 engine.[6]


It is unknown how far into development WCW/nWo Live reached prior to cancellation, but based on the information provided by GameSpot, significant progress seemed to have been made. However, no build of the game has ever publicly resurfaced, and because the screenshots all came from Toukon Retsuden 3, no images nor footage of the game are currently accessible either.

See Also