WWE.com: For the legion of grappling gamers seeking a mastery of WWE video games, prepare for a lesson on the axiom of Austin 3:16.
Twenty years after his WWE debut, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will help the WWE Universe raise some hell once again as the cover Superstar for WWE 2K16. 2K confirmed its selection for the prestigious honor today, leaving one of the most brash and outspoken Superstars in WWE history feeling humbled by the decision.
"It caught me completely off guard," Austin said to WWE.com. "I figured I'd been gone for such a long time; it's been a while. To get that phone call and be on the cover of what is going to be the biggest, baddest video game that there's ever been, with the roster and all the technology, and to be out of the ring for so many years meant a whole lot to me."
The choice of Austin, a WWE Hall of Fame inductee in 2009, ensures that the WWE Universe will find a very familiar face in the video games section when WWE 2K16 hits store shelves this fall. Generations of WWE fans know The Texas Rattlesnake not only by his influential role in the rise of WWE’s Attitude Era, but also for his many starring roles in feature films and as the provocative host of the Stone Cold Podcast on WWE Network.
Now, Austin serves as the face of a highly anticipated WWE video game that comes after two of the best-selling iterations of the venerated series. He follows 2K’s recent selections of The Rock in 2014 and John Cena last year, putting the six-time World Champion in a position where he’ll need more than just Stone Cold Stunners to successfully follow in their footsteps.
"Those two were awesome guys to put on the cover of the 2K wrestling games," Austin said. "Being in there with The Rock and John is great. But they just got trumped by ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin — and I say that with all due respect."
While his inclusion will excite gamers worldwide, Austin will have plenty of company when the WWE Universe tries out WWE 2K16 for the first time. That’s because 2K recently pledged that its next take on the WWE Universe will offer the largest roster in WWE video game history, giving The Texas Rattlesnake plenty of virtual opponents from the past and present.
"It'll be interesting to see who going to be in the game," Austin said. "I'm looking forward to see who they dig out in WWE history and bring up. For all the different matchups, with 120 playable characters, that's almost insane. From what I know about the game, this one is going to be the coolest one ever."
WWE 2K16 is scheduled for release on Oct. 27, 2015, in North America and October 30, 2015, internationally. The game has not yet been rated by the ESRB.