Fire Pro Wrestling World
(Fire Promoter Deep Dive)
It's safe to say that I own a fair amount of wrestling video games that range from the classic to the obscure and all the way up to current releases. Fire Pro Wrestling World is one game I keep coming back to and playing endless amounts of hours of, though. Steam, like Nintendo's Switch, keeps up with the time you've spent playing specific games and I've logged in 100+ hours in this game alone, almost exclusively playing the Fire Promoter mode. I figured today we'd take a "deep dive" into this specific part of this amazing game to see what keeps me always coming back for more.
For those that may be unaware; FPW World was originally released by Spike Chunsoft for PCs in 2018 and was later released for the Playstation 4. I, being a longtime fan of the Fire Pro series of games, picked up my copy from Steam sometime in 2020. Believe me, I would've gotten a copy much sooner but until that point, I didn't have a Playstation 4 (What can I say? I'm an Xbox guy) or the gaming laptop that I enjoy now. Once I did get my hands on it; I have yet to put it down! There are so many great modes included in this game. Even multiple and varied story modes. I could do more than a couple of deep dives into this wrestling game masterpiece but today; let's start by taking a look at the mode I enjoy playing the most.
I have always loved a good GM/booker/promoter mode in wrestling games. I imagine that if I were a fan of other sports; I'd really enjoy those "manager games" that get released sometimes. You know, the sports games where you set up a team and help them with their progress doing various things without actually playing the sport involved. Some gamers would consider those boring but for me; it would be gaming bliss. In the FPW Fire Promoter mode, you can actually play through every match you set up for a card. I choose not to do this, though, and just hire my group of guys and see who works out best for me and then push the hell out of them as any reputable wrestling promoter would.
One of the best parts of this mode is that you can use any of your create-a-wrestlers in it. I personally don't take the time to create wrestlers, especially in this game, because it's a very long and detailed process. Lucky for us there are great versions of literally whatever wrestler, boxer, or MMA fighter you can think of in this game's Workshop section on Steam. Seriously, even almost 5 years after its release - this game has a great community that's always creating new characters, moves, and even taunts that you can download to enhance your gaming experience.
When you first start up Fire Promoter; you have to pick your home territory (either America, Japan, Mexico, or Europe); decide your promotions style (Strong style, Showman, Stoic (MMA/Boxing), Lucha, among others); and then choose six wrestlers to start up your company with. Not only should you make sure these wrestlers fit the style of your promotion but you should also make sure they're popular enough in the part of the world where you're running most of your shows. That way they'll at least draw a little bit of a crowd for your first few shows until you can build them up into someone the audience really wants to see.
Even the lowest-ranked and most "boring" wrestlers can be built up into crowd-pleasers if you book them against opponents in matches that end up popping the crowd. At first, just like with real wrestling booking, you never really know who the crowd may get behind and turn into your next superstar or main-eventer.
I've tried my hand at booking MMA promotions and Deathmatch promotions but they surprisingly get boring after a while. You pretty much have the same style match over and over. This is why I usually go with booking a Showman (Sports Entertainment) promotion. This gives me the most leeway to do different match styles under one banner. My fans aren't going to want to see Dan Severn vs Ken Shamrock in an exploding barbed wire deathmatch (Even though I'd pay good money to see that!) but I can slip in a No DQ match or a deathmatch every now and then and they'll appreciate it. I could also do Lucha matches and Strong Style matches. In my opinion, choosing a Showman promotion really opens up your options.
Fire Promoter is broken down into months of the year. Each month equals one event. You get to choose 6 wrestlers to start with but in order to have a successful show; you have to have at least 5 matches. You're able to offer one wrestler a contract per month (granted your gym is up to date enough) so for your first show, you can potentially have seven wrestlers. You have to book outside wrestlers (either from other promotions or freelancers) for a one-shot deal in order to fill up the card. There's no guarantee these guys will show up when showtime comes, though, and that leaves you minus a match on your show and minus some money in your pocket due to fewer people showing up to watch it live. That's why I always build up my roster as quickly as possible. It's always nice to have a guest star show up but you can never rely on them too much.
There's always a lot of stuff going on in your promotion to keep your eye on. You can build relationships with other promotions and have talent agreements that make it easier for their wrestlers to appear on your show. You can also entice their champions to come and defend their belts on your shows to pop the live gate a little bit. You have to constantly improve your gym in order to be able to have more wrestlers on your roster and you can build various amenities for them that will help boost their attack, defense, durability, along with other stats.
You can produce merchandise like t-shirts, action figures, and DVDs to help boost your revenue. Speaking of revenue, once your cash flow and popularity increase, you have to make sure you take care of the boys financially. If not, some of them may hold up one of your shows and threaten to walk out unless they're compensated justly. Finally, sometimes a wrestler will surprise you by suddenly announcing their retirement. Unlike most pro wrestling "retirements"; these are permanent and you're not going to be seeing these guys compete in any promotion again. These retirements can happen at any time. I've even had my champions vacate belts by retiring.
Fire Pro Wrestling World is an amazingly deep wrestling game as you can see by me just reviewing this one aspect of it. Fire Promoter is truly my favorite thing to do in the game and it's what makes me keep coming back. Hopefully, I was able to provide some insight and give a few tips and tricks on how to play it for you guys who are into the series as much as I am.
Until next time... keep mashing those buttons!