Smackdown vs RAW 2009

Cover art for SVR'09

WWE SmackDown versus RAW (aka SVR) was a highly successful video game franchise published by THQ based on WWE programming. All the games in the series were primarily developed by Yuke's Future Media Creators. The series started in 2000 under the Smackdown! banner with a annual secondary subtitle through 2003 before assuming the banner of "SmackDown vs. Raw" with each new release notating the forthcoming year for an annual progression of the franchise titles. On May 31, 2011, it was announced that THQ and WWE had agreed to simply the franchise title, starting with "WWE '12."

The series was published by Yuke's and known as Exciting Pro Wrestling in Japan until 2005. Following SmackDown vs. Raw 2007, THQ took over as the Japanese publisher and the series adopted the western name. Initially, the series was exclusive to PlayStation video game consoles, but it expanded to all seventh generation consoles in 2008 (previously, different WWE video games were released on the other platforms). In recent years, THQ has been releasing two WWE video games per year: one for the Christmas shopping season and another right before WrestleMania (like 2010's Legends of WrestleMania and 2011's WWE All Stars).

Below is a list of the available titles in the series.

  • WWF SmackDown!

Release date: February 29, 2000

  • WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role

Release date: November 21, 2000

  • WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It
    Release date: November 19, 2001

This was the first WWF video game released on the PlayStation 2 and the final video game released under the WWF acronym.

  • WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth

Release date: October 31, 2002

  • WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain

Release date: October 27, 2003

  • WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW
    Release date: November 2, 2004

This was the first game in the series to permit gamers to select "clean" or "dirty" in-ring fighting styles.

  • WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006
    Release date: November 14, 2005

This was the first game in the series to be released to a handheld console.

  • WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007
    Release date: November 14, 2006

This was the first game in the series to change its primary movement from the directional buttons to the analog stick.  A PlayStation 3 version was planned but canceled mid-way into production.  From this game onwards, the exclamation mark from the title was removed. 

  • WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2008
    Release date: November 13, 2007

This was the first WWE video game released on the PlayStation 3 and it was the first game in the series to feature "Including ECW" below its title.

  • WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2009

Release date: November 9, 2008

  • WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2010

Release date: October 20, 2009

  • WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2011

Release date: October 26, 2010

The SmackDown! series was among the best-selling video game franchises. THQ and YUKE's Future Media Creators consider one reason the series has remained so popular is due to series bringing "WWE programming to life through a host of key new features, extensive rosters with WWE's most popular Superstars, incredible graphics and engaging action in and beyond the ring."

While most fans agree that the titles have declined in quality, usually starting around the paradigm shift in the primary movement format, Kay strongly preferred the analog stick movement and felt that the games were increasingly more enjoyable after the change. Unfortunately, it has been announced that "WWE '12" will return to its original primary movement format.

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