Today, 2K Games and the NFL announced their multi-year deal to release non-simulation football videogames. To be clear, this is not a revival of the NFL 2K series, as EA still owns the exclusive rights to simulate an NFL season. However, the partnership promises multiple football titles incorporating NFL properties.
EA’s exclusive rights deal, acquired in 2005, is set to expire after the 2021 NFL season. Multiple companies, including 2K Games, have expressed interest in acquiring these rights. EA’s Madden game series has had a strong hold on the football simulation market for years, but Joe Ruggiero, Senior Vice President of Consumer Products at the NFL, reveals efforts to expand within the space. He says in a statement, “Expanding the NFL’s presence in the world of gaming has become a focus for the League as we look to grow the next generation of our fanbase and reviving our partnership with 2K was a natural step in that effort.” 2K Sports is a juggernaut within the sports game world, so it makes sense for the NFL to join forces with them to aid this venture.
As for when fans can expect these upcoming titles, they are confirmed to be in “early development.” Expected launch dates will be sometime in the next calendar year, 2021, during Take-Two’s fiscal year, 2022. Things seem to be full speed ahead with the President of 2K, David Ismailer, expressing the companies excitement to once again be working on NFL games, aiming to deliver “fun, approachable and social experiences.” The last time 2K released an NFL game was in 2004, with the final installment of their popular NFL 2K series. Gamers shouldn’t expect similar content in these future titles; it will be interesting to see what kind of NFL game 2K will introduce.
Check back for more updates on these upcoming releases.