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WCW Backstage Assault Makes Even Hardcore Fans Board on the Nintendo 64 – Today in History – December 12th, 2000

It is no secret that World Championship Wrestling (WCW) had their share of problems.  Lack of a deep locker room was not one of them.  The biggest problem that WCW faced was themselves.  They had no clear vision as to what they wanted to present fans.  The revolving door in the executive lounge was not helping either.  You would think this would be limited to the television show.  You would be wrong as WCW Backstage Assault proves that this lack of understanding the fan base reached far and wide.  WCW Backstage Assault was published by Electronic Arts, who apparently didn’t understand what a good wrestling game was either.  Wrestling has one iconic item that is shared between EVERY organization in the world.  The ring.  Too bad Backstage Assault forgot this fundamental requirement.

You read that right.  WCW Backstage Assault does not feature a wrestling ring.  None.  Nothing at all with ropes or in front of a crowd.  To set the mood for this game you have to remember, Extreme Championship Wrestling had just shown WCW and WWF/E how to build a dedicated fan base unlike any other.  They did it with weapons, underhanded tactics and more.  WWF/E was so impressed that they invested in ECW to the point that when the fledgling hardcore company couldn’t pay up, WWF/E simply took the company (and many of the contracts of wrestlers) over.  WCW was never one to lead the pack, when they did they lost it because they were lost already.  With the popularity of the hardcore idea growing apparently EA decided it would be a good idea to make a game all about it.  Probably thinking they had what equates to a 3D fighting game that happen to feature wrestlers than cartoon characters, EA gave WCW Backstage Assault the greenlight.  Man, they probably should have paid more attention to the source material.  Hell, why didn’t WCW step in and say no to this use of their license?  There was a lot of a Kool-Aid drinking going on here.

The graphics are about on par for the period, I mean, of course there were better 3D fighting games out there- none of them featured “Double J” Jeff Jarrett (future founder of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling- TNA) and Booker T.  Yeah, I don’t see the allure of those guys either, back in the day Booker was a big deal but now, even though he owns Reality of Wrestling out of Texas, he is not “it” with the fans.  Even Jeff Jarrett, now owner of Global Force Wrestling, is struggling to stay relevant in a world that moves extremely fast.

WCW Backstage Assault had plenty of problems before it even left the gates.  It failed miserably, reportedly only selling 200,000 copies.  TOTAL.  That is on Playstation One and Nintendo 64.  That is for both Europe and North America.  Talk about a lousy return on your investment- no wonder EA has yet to step back into the world of wrestling games.

If you really want to see how bad WCW Backstage Assault is, or maybe check out some other wrestling games, hit .

Carl Williams

It is time gaming journalism takes its rightful place as proper sources and not fanboys giving free advertising. If you wish to support writers like Carl please use the links below.

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