2K will once again develop NFL games, though there’s a bit of a catch.
The NFL and 2K have confirmed that the titles in development will be non-simulation football games, greatly differing from the likes of EA’s NFL Madden franchise. 2K’s NFL games are likely to begin launching in 2021.
“The NFL is one of the most successful sports brands in the world, known for creating incredible entertainment for fans,” said David Ismailer, president of 2K. “We’re thrilled to be back in business with the NFL in a partnership that will span multiple video games centered on fun, approachable and social experiences.
“It’s exciting to bring together 2K’s expertise in creating award-winning sports games with the NFL’s renowned status as a world-class entertainment and sports organization.”
In response to the news, NFL Madden‘s EA released a statement that asserted it is the “exclusive publisher of NFL simulation games,” furthering that its partnership with the NFL and the NFL Players Association “remains unchanged.”
“Our agreements have always allowed for non-exclusive development of non-simulation games on various platforms,” EA’s statement continues. “Our commitment to NFL fans, which spans almost 30 years, has never been stronger, and we’re having our biggest year yet.
“Madden NFL 20 is the most successful game ever in the franchise, and new modes like Superstar KO and our Madden NFL esports broadcasts are growing the fan base. We’ll be building on that momentum with more new and different experiences, on more platforms and with new ways to play, in the years to come.”
The last NFL game to come from 2K was ESPN NFL 2K5 back in 2004; EA signed an exclusivity deal with the NFL for 2005 onwards.