Promotion Wars has a long history in the sim world, with its roots dating back to 1999.
Below you'll find information on all the main versions that have been released, and in some cases links to download and play the versions yourself on the Older Versions page of this site.
The current generation of the game began on 7th October 2021 with the release of Promotion Wars: 21st Anniversary Edition. This version has been ongoing ever since, with regular additions and improvements as the game evolves from its 2005 form into modern times.
The changing look of Promotion Wars
Written by Adam Jennings
This is where the road to Promotion Wars first began.
Way back in December 1999, my only experience of a wrestling sim was Wrestling 2000, a very basic free game I'd downloaded from download.com, where you simply chose 2 wrestlers from a drop down list and then it generated a very simple match between them, in text.
Realising that wrestling games didn't have to be WWE-level, I debated making a game like Championship Manager, except you control WWF or WCW instead of football clubs. I decided against it in the end, thinking that people wouldn't be interested in merely taking over the duties at an already established promotion. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Anyway, I chose instead to base the game on starting up your own promotion, and running it against the big two. You chose the name of the promotion, and even designed the logo (by simply choosing a font and a colour). You started with a roster full of indie guys who I took from magazines like Pro Wrestling Illustrated, none of whom I had seen wrestling. One of them happened to be a certain Elix Skipper, who I got totally wrong when creating a description for.
The wrestlers all had their Draw and Entertainment values, just as in PW, and the rosters worked as in PW - clicking on their name brought up their profile. You created primary and secondary singles titles, and a tag team title. You chose a venue from which to permanently have your shows (like how ECW had the ECW Arena), and chose either singles or tag team matches. Only the main event could be given a stipulation, and as there was no commentary, there were several gimmicks to choose from, each having a varying degree on your attendance.
Once the matches were chosen, you were taken to a screen showing a poster of your show, advertising your main event match. Then you were simply taken to the results screen, where you were told who beat who, and which titles changed hands. You could also sign talent from WWF, WCW, ECW or Other, as in PW. Because of the small bank balance you begin with, it is very difficult to afford anyone to start with. There was also a training camp, as in PW, where you could choose how much money was put into it, and that reflected the talent you got out of it.
Once your promotion got popular enough, you were given a TV deal, and got to see your ratings compared to the WWF and WCW. Ratings were shown only as a percentage, however. Another nice feature in WFM was buying a ring - you had a selection of different qualities, at varying prices. You could also see what it looked like, complete with your designed logo on the side, and you could choose the colour of the apron. Bear in mind, this was displayed in a very, very basic way.
I made this game during my early days of programming, and learned the harsh lesson a lot of people end up discovering. I thought I knew enough to make a game of that scale, but later discovered that in programming, there are ways to do something...and there are ways to do it well. Two very different things. I ended up using 50 forms for the Visual Basic project (PW uses less than half that). The game had serious memory issues, and thus was never really completed as such, although it is 99% done.
I still have the game, and one way will put it into a playable form for people to try. As of 2021, it has never been played by anybody but me.
After learning a lesson while making WFM, I set out to avoid all the mistakes I'd made, and remake the game as a sequel. I didn't get very far into this before I found Adam Ryland's Extreme Warfare 9000. This got me thinking about how I could adapt WFM to have the WWF and WCW instead of creating a new promotion. Work on WFM2 was scrapped, and I began work on a game called Wrestling Promoter Sim (renamed during production to Promotion Wars)...
Started in January 2000, Promotion Wars was uploaded to the internet on October 7th 2000, and announced on the Extreme Warfare discussion board. It caused a wave of interest on the EW Board, who believed they had seen the last of EW, and had been given nothing but empty promises by other programmers. Promotion Wars 1.0 was never destined for the internet, and it wasn't until about 70% into the game that I started considering the possibility. Then came the problem of getting it onto the internet, which was solved after several different attempts.
PW 1.0 looked different to all the other PW's. It had a white background, and looked pretty ugly. The font which I had used was not on a lot of people's computers, so their computer was replacing it with a bigger one, thus hiding some of the text and increasing the ugliness. But the features were a big step up from WFM. The matches now had commentary, using a mix of Championship Manager and Extreme Warfare influences. There were now a selection of venues to choose from, which was an idea taken from EW. TV ratings were now the actual numbers instead of a percentage. In general, the game was written specifically around WWF and WCW. The signing of wrestlers, and the training camp, were carried across and modified slightly from WFM. Commentators were dropped from PW1.0 after repeated 'Out of Memory' messages.
You can download it here.
After a week on the net, the first refinement to Promotion Wars was uploaded. The major change here was the look of the game. The whole thing was redesigned. The white background replaced by a dark blue background (an idea I had when reading about LMA Manager in a magazine), and the font which nobody had was replaced by Verdana. Also added was the ability to see your champions highlighted in gold on the roster.
A week after 1.1 came another refinement. PW 1.2 allowed the player to rebook a match if they made a mistake, and had the sortable rosters feature added. Some of the bugs were also fixed for this version.
The changes in this version are as follows:
* Injuries are less likely
* There is a 'back' button for re-choosing matches
* The roster screen can now be reordered in many different ways, including just showing upper card/mid card/lower card workers, ordering the wrestlers by draw value, entertainment value, morale and contract expiry date, and you can see all your injured wrestlers on the one page
* Stephanie McMahon and Daffney are available to choose as managers
* The Power Plant Champions injury problem has been fixed
* Wrestlers no longer remain on your push list and merchandise list once they have left the company
* Plus, the stats for a new game are updated to today (21st Oct), with Kurt Angle being managed by Stephanie, and a few additions to the rosters such as Shawn Michaels, Shane McMahon and Mick Foley.
It was a mere four days before another new version arrived. This simply mixed a mistake or two.
It wasn't until the new year rolled in that another new version of PW arrived. This version was meant as a final polishing of PW1.2 before the big 1.3 arrived. Interesting side note, it used to take me 3 and a half hours to compile the code into an exe file. I believe it was when making this particular version, that, having gone through the 3 and a half hours, I noticed an error. So - you guessed it - it was another 3 and a half hours to compile the corrected version. Happy New Year indeed! For comparison, Promotion Wars: 21st Anniversary Edition took around 6 minutes to compile...
* Double Signing - If you resign someone, they no longer appear twice on your roster.
* Negative Ratings - These no longer happen.
* Unfinished feuds - It is now impossible to exit before you have chosen the whole feud.
* Long Number Ratings - These no longer happen.
* The Backlash/Wrestlemania mix up has been fixed.
* New WCW PPV names (Sin, Superbrawl Revenge and Greed)
* TNN Ratings For Raw - Raw's ratings now start off around the 5 mark.
* Turning Heel/Face - The wrestler's opinion remains the same when you keep clicking.
* Fully Updated Stats - Accurate up to 31/12/2000
In June, 1.2b was polished a little bit more. More bugs were fixed, the general difficulty of the game was improved, and a much requested back button on the roster was added.
For the first time in Promotion Wars' history, almost all information within the game could be changed by the player. 1.2d also makes the player buy out the contract of a wrestler if he wants to release him against the wrestler's will. The game starts by default with the starting promotions being the WWF and the WCW/ECW Alliance.
You can now change the following at any time:
* All the promotion's initials *
* All the promotion's full names *
* All the title names *
* Both your TV show names *
* Your rival TV show name *
* Your training camp name *
* Your starting balance *
* Your interviewer names *
* The logo for your promotion *
* All the PPV names *
Use different show images for each save slot
Releasing wrestlers means buying out their contracts
Stats and champions up to date to Sunday 29th July - now over 860 wrestlers
You can download it here.
1.2e dropped the save slots and gave the player unlimited saves. It also introduced Challenges, where the player had to complete certain targets by a certain time, or the game ends. The expected draw value for world champions, the expected ratings for the main show and PPV, the expected bank balance and the minimum draw value for a top liner could all be edited. Weekly rating was affected a lot more if the player is in debt, and shows cost a lot more money to put on. The bug where the weekly rating could show as more than 100% was fixed. Hell in a Cell and Triple Cage can now be used for any promotion. The files were now no longer kept in folders, which allowed me to just use Winzip, and not a setup program. This brought the download to less than 1 MB, when it had been over 3MB.
The money problem was fixed, and a choice of the classic blue background or the new black background was added.
You can download it here.
The first new Promotion Wars release for 2 and a half years, version 1.3 was the 1.2e code re-written. The several changes included the possibility of up to 11 playable promotions including the option of starting a brand new indie promotion, editable match endings, interviews and venues, more shows, more titles, customisable match stipulations, new wrestler stats and more.
Promotion Wars 1.3 (October 7th 2004)
After the public testing, version 1.3 was officially released as a complete game on the 4th anniversary of the first ever Promotion Wars release. This was really intended as the final Promotion Wars. EWR had quite deservedly taken Promotion Wars' crown as the favourite wrestling sim, and this was an attempt to leave Promotion Wars on a more positive note, after the cancellation of Promotion Wars 2.
You can download it and its editors here.
There was sporadic talk over the years of making a modern stats update for Promotion Wars, but that never seemed to materialise. However, in December 2020, PW fans CorZ (now known as Valo) and JayC, actually managed to make one. On one hand, this was great, on the other, I was quietly concerned at how it would expose how old the last released version of Promotion Wars was. I dusted off the code for the first time in a long time and spent a few hours one day fixing as many little things as I could to minimise any embarrassment, while also updating the built-in text referring to who had last made the stats for the game and things like the old email address and old website.
With Valo releasing an expansion to his stats update (UK promotions), knowing there would again be people playing the game which had been untouched since 2005 except for v1.31's small fixes, I again spent a few hours one day just making small fixes and tweaks where I could. This was mainly preventing errors, but there were a handful of minor new things, like being told your sponsorship/merchandise/TV income in an email each month, and being told the match of the night (which had been a feature in the pre-1.3 versions). There was an email after each show telling you the net profit or loss of that show, and you could also move the screen around your desktop for the first time (it had been rooted to the centre permanently until then). So, a few more features but still a very minor update.
(aka Promotion Wars 1.4)
After a very encouraging response on Facebook when I posted on the 20th anniversary in 2020, I always had it in mind that I wanted to do something special for the 21st anniversary. It wasn't until mid-August 2021 that I decided I'd make a sizeable update to 1.32. First and foremost, I wanted to enlarge the screen (it looked very small by 2021 standards) and return the font to the classic PW font Verdana. In the process of manually enlarging each screen, I ended up changing several things to make the game look tidier and more consistent. I basically looked at every single screen and thought to myself, how can I improve this? So that resulted in quite a visual change, with some screens being completely redesigned. I also added several other news things, see a full run-down in the News section.
The release of this game coincided with the unveiling of the new website, pwremastered.com, which is the first time in about 14 years that I've had my own website for Promotion Wars that I have full control of. This marked the beginning of the 'Remastered Era' for Promotion Wars.
AKA Update 2022-1. Auto-Booking of Secondary shows was added and the Teams screen was now accessible while booking. See the Fixes and Improvements page for a full list of the changes and fixes added.
AKA Update 2022-2. The Championships screen now showed pics of the titles and pics of the champions. The feuds screen also had wrester pics added. This version made the game entirely dependant on Data Packs, and no longer came with 'default data'. The Data Pack screen was added, allowing for Data Packs to have cover pics. See the Fixes and Improvements page for a full list of the changes and fixes added.
AKA Update 2022-3. This changed the screen resolution to widescreen, almost 20% bigger. The Promotion Select screen was re-designed to allow for unlimited promotions. The limit of 8 titles was replaced with unlimited titles. Interim and Trios titles were introduced. Titles of promotions owned by your promotion could now be defended on your shows. This release also coincided with a full new Data Pack by Vampiro666uk, with stats up-to-date to 1st October 2022. See the Fixes and Improvements page for a full list of the changes and fixes added.
New screen added (Brands) where you can see and change Brand logos, create and rename Brands, hold a full WWE-style Draft or do an instant Brand Split.
Featuring a full revamp of the Weekly Shows screen (set your Announce Teams, set House Show Production Values, refresh your TV presentation, interviewer pics, see your next goal and your progress towards it). The progression ladder was completely rewritten, with extra shows now being unlocked instead of automatically added. Modernised Local/Regional TV to streaming deals. Big changes to New Indies to make them more realistic (no more weekly House Shows, no contracts). A-Shows and B-Shows replaced Primary Shows and Secondary (C) Shows. On 31st July 2023, an update was released which tells you when other promotions make signings, among other improvements. See the Fixes and Improvements page for a full list of the changes and fixes added.
The next version of the game is currently being worked on. Follow Promotion Wars on social media and keep an eye on the news page of this site to stay up-to-date with the details as they're announced!