He’s back on top of the WWE after climbing the ladder and winning the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the 15th time on Sunday’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Now he’s also back on the cover of a WWE video game for the first time in years.
Sports entertainment veteran John Cena was revealed as the cover talent for the upcoming WWE 2K15 on the June 30 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw on the USA Network. The announcement was made during an in-ring interview segment featuring Cena and his bosses and storyline rivals Stephanie McMahon and Triple H.
“To be on the cover is a great honor,” Cena said in the televised segment. Moments before his remark, a giant banner revealing his cover appearance appeared from the rafters above the WWE ring.
The cover appearance marks the first video game cover appearance for Cena in four years, last getting the nod with Smackdown vs. Raw 2011, where he shared the cover with The Big Show and The Miz. That title was the last in that series. Then-publisher THQ then moved to a yearly series named after the WWE brand itself, beginning in 2011 with WWE ’12. Previous cover athletes in that yearly series have included Randy Orton, CM Punk and “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson.
The first video game cover to feature Cena was 2005’s WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006, where he appeared alongside Batista. He made a cameo on the cover of 2003’s WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain in the background, being chokeslammed by WWE legend The Undertaker. Brock Lesnar was the featured cover athlete in that edition.
WWE 2K15 was first teased at the recent E3 event in Los Angeles, with photos of Cena, Hulk Hogan, Cesaro and Bray Wyatt shown on the 2K booth. Few details about the game are presently available, but details and rosters are typically revealed around the time of WWE’s annual SummerSlam special event, which takes place August 17 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Also worth note on the cover is the use of the new WWE logo. Already seen in the branding for some other WWE products such as the WWE Network, the new logo is expected to be in full effect across all WWE products and events by the time of the video game’s release, replacing the “scratch logo” branding that debuted in 1998 (later altered in 2001 to reflect the changed from WWF to WWE following the wrestling giant’s loss to the World Wildlife Fund over the rights to the former initials).
WWE 2K15 is currently scheduled for release on Sony’s PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 consoles and Microsoft’s Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles on October 28 in North America and October 31 in Europe. No port is presently announced for any Nintendo consoles, which haven’t had a game in the WWE series released since WWE ’13 in 2012. It is expected to land an ESRB rating of “T for Teen” as the previous releases in the long running series.