Vince McMahon WWE 2K24 Credit: Video Games Chronicle

WWE’s history is littered with problematic figures.

That includes the company’s founder, Vince McMahon.

With the 78-year-old former chairman facing a lawsuit and federal investigation stemming from allegations of sexual abuse and trafficking, WWE now faces the conundrum of how to handle his sizable place in its history. And if the upcoming WWE 2K24 video game is any indication, McMahon is now persona non grata for the very company he helped build, with’s Jordan Middler noting that not only is he not a playable character in the game, but his face has also been blurred from some of the real-life footage included in the game.

“McMahon, who is currently the subject of a sexual assault and trafficking lawsuit, appears in archival footage as part of the game’s WrestleMania Showcase, a mode in which players recreate famous WrestleMania matches,” Middler writes. “Most footage of McMahon has been blurred, which, due to his prominence in several cutscenes, leads to some moments in which half of the screen is taken up by a blurred face.”

McMahon — who resigned from WWE in January — hasn’t been completely eliminated from the game, as he is reportedly an unplayable character in a “Showcase Mode” match between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin and appears unblurred in archival footage related to the match. As Middler notes, that’s likely a matter of those features having already been included in the game, with it now being too late to eliminate them post-allegations.

While WWE licenses its property for such projects, it has often had significant input in the development of its video games, particularly as it relates to the rosters. It’s hard to imagine publisher 2K or developer Visual Concepts effectively eliminating a figure as significant as McMahon without consulting WWE first.

Similarly, Brock Lesnar — who, although named or included as a defendant, is implicated in McMahon’s lawsuit — is not included as a playable character in WWE 2K24. Insider Gaming previously reported that Lesnar remains in the game as an unplayable character as it was too late to fully remove him after the lawsuit was filed in January.

That falls in line with WWE’s own approach to Lesnar, who was reportedly pulled from a planned appearance at the Royal Rumble following the lawsuit. Lesnar also wasn’t featured in a video package regarding Paul Heyman’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame this past Monday, despite Lesnar having been arguably the most prominent figure in Heyman’s WWE career.

This isn’t the first time that WWE has had to deal with problematic figures in its history. And as its handling of Hulk Hogan’s racist remarks shows, such approaches are always subject to change. But for now, it appears the company is distancing itself as much as it can from one of its biggest stars in Lesnar, as well as the very man who founded it in McMahon.

[Video Games Chronicles, Insider Gaming]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.