WWF With Authority was an online wrestling game created by Genetic Anomalies in conjunction with World Wrestling Federation as it was known at the time, and THQ.
As a result of a lawsuit between the WWF and the [[World Wildlife Fund, the game's official title became WWE With Authority! in the summer of 2002.
At its core, WWE With Authority! was a Collectible Card Game in electronic form. Players could purchase virtual "Pages" and assemble them into a "Playbook." This playbook would represent the moves and abilities that your wrestler would be capable of pulling off in the ring.
WWE With Authority! was distributed as a downloadable freeware game and was available on CD in retail stores for US$5.00. The retail version came with a redemption code for a William Regal starter playbook. Players could purchase additional preconstructed playbooks for superstars consisting of complete selections of plays for US$10.00. Booster packs were also available for US$3.00 that include an assortment of random individual pages to accentuate your existing playbooks. A certain amount of rarer cards were guaranteed in each booster.
There is a single player mode, which is intended as a tutorial. Only one opponent in the tutorial is truly playable. The game was primarily geared towards the online multiplayer game, where as many as 1,000 people were available at any given time during the game's height. The game kept track of the player's wins, losses and draws, as well as the number of times a player has been cut off in the middle of a match. This feature was to discourage players from terminating the program to avoid taking a loss.
There were seven sets put up for sale at various times during the games tenure.
- First Edition, 196 cards (February 21, 2001)
This was the first set of the game. Established the framework and environment.
- No Way Out, 145 cards (December 12, 2001)
This expansion rounded the game out to a complete play environment.
- WrestleMania X8, 25 cards (late March, 2002)
This "mini-expansion" was on sale only for a month or two. It was developed during the show itself, with designers at the event taking notes then scrambling back to implement, code and test the set. The main theme was the inclusion of the NWO.
- TLC, 160 cards (May 16, 2002)
The "Tables, Ladders and Chairs" expansion greatly increased the number of hardcore and illegal moves and special cards available to players. Concurrent with this set was the release of the new "Ladder Match".
- Second Edition, 250 cards (June 2002)
This set included 238 reprints from Season One and 12 Superstars. These Superstars were new versions of existing superstars, including new gameplay text. This update scheme received a mixed reaction.
- SummerSlam 2002, 25 cards (August 2002)
Based on the results from the X8 mini-expansion, Genetic Anomalies released SummerSlam 2002. This set featured Shawn Michaels (returning from a four year break from WWE) and Brock Lesnar (who captured his first WWE Championship).
- Unforgiven, 200 cards (September 27, 2002)
This set marked the return to themes that were based more on card mechanics and less on storyline development.
- "Expansion Eight", around 150 cards (unreleased)
Preview cards of this expansion set were released in October and November 2002. Rey Mysterio and Tajiri and their trademark moves were put on sale in Limited Edition form. This set was originally scheduled for a mid-December 2002 release.
WWE With Authority! was one of the first online collectible card games, along with Chron X, also from Genetic Anomalies. Player reception to the new genre was initially lukewarm. Some players were not comfortable with the concept of paying money for intangible goods.While subsequent online collectible card games have enjoyed success, including Magic: The Gathering Online, Genetic Anomalies would not survive to see the genre flourish.
There was also a WWF collectible card game released at about the same time entitled Raw Deal, which was considered to be a better alternative to the online version.
In January 2003, THQ ceased production of the game. The server remained online for several months. The freeware client can still be downloaded from some freeware distribution sites, but the game is no longer officially supported.
In 2003, just weeks before support ceased, a peer-to-peer version of the game was released by THQ such that existing players could continue using the game with the pages they purchased. This way, players would connect though IP addresses. Now, there is With Authority! Peer-2-Peer. This version of the game uses mIRC for a chat room/server, and the original WA! client as before. There were also page changes in 2004.
Also in WA! P2P, there are six Guide sets (meaning each account has at least five of every page (excluding promotional pages). There are also eleven weekly events, two monthly events, totaling at least 45 official events a month. There are also title accounts which a current champion may use the belt if s/he wins the title, including: The World Heavyweight Title, Cruiserweight Title, Intercontinental Title, European Title, Hardcore Title, and Tsunami Cup.
Various websites continue to offer competition and community for the game.