• NFL and 2K Announce Partnership to Produce Multiple New Video Games

    Sixteen years after the final release of NFL 2K, 2K Games is back in the business of making NFL titles.

    Today, 2K and the NFL announced a multiyear agreement allowing them to develop 'non-simulation experiences.' The first titles under this agreement are expected to launch in 2021. At this time, there is no indication on what consoles or platforms these titles may be developed for.

    Per ESPN, the 'simulation rights' aspect of the NFL license expires in 2021 and multiple companies, including 2K, are said to be interesting in acquiring them.

    In recent years, 2K has expanded their portfolio by adding arcade basketball (NBA Playgrounds), professional golf (The Golf Club), and now the NFL in some capacity. In an expanded timeframe, EA has lost or relinquished the rights to franchises or discontinued development of franchises devoted to college football (NCAA Football), professional golf (Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR), baseball (MVP Baseball), and Tennis (Grand Slam Tennis), as well as numerous arcade titles. Based on social media profiles of developers, EA Tiburon is currently developing an unannounced title.

    Continue on to read the official press release as well as excerpts of stories covering this news from ESPN and IGN.

    Via ESPN:

    The simulation rights are currently exclusively owned by Electronic Arts, who have been creating the Madden NFL game franchise since 1988. According to a source, those rights are up at the end of the 2021 NFL season. 2K, along with other companies, has expressed interest in acquiring those rights.

    "EA SPORTS is the exclusive publisher of NFL simulation games, and our partnership with the NFL and NFLPA remains unchanged," said a statement on behalf of EA. "Our agreements have always allowed for non-exclusive development of non-simulation games on various platforms. 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."

    Via IGN:

    Pressed for details on what these “non-simulation football game experiences” would be, Argent said, “Our goal is always authenticity, depth, fun and as it relates to these titles – approachable and social football experiences. We think this is a good opportunity to service a more casual market, and our research shows there’s an appetite for that.” Does that mean mobile platforms, next-gen consoles, both, or everything in-between? Neither the NFL nor 2K would comment as of now.

    When asked how long this deal has been in the works, NFL Vice President and Head of Gaming and eSports Rachel Hoagland said, “We stayed in touch quite regularly over the course of the past couple of years.” NFL Senior Vice President of Consumer Products Joe Ruggiero added: “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.”

    The official press release from 2K Games and the NFL:

    The National Football League (NFL) and 2K today announced a multi-year partnership encompassing multiple future video games. The partnership marks the return of football-themed games to 2K’s stable of notable sports titles and original IP, as well as an expansion of video game properties for the NFL. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    The games will be non-simulation football game experiences. While specific game titles, developers and release dates will be announced at a later date, 2K confirmed the projects are in early development and will launch starting in calendar year 2021, during Take-Two’s fiscal year 2022.

    “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.”

    A leading developer and publisher of global interactive entertainment based in Novato, Calif., 2K previously published the popular and critically-acclaimed NFL 2K franchise, which ran from 1999 to 2004, through the Company’s 2K Sports label. Other 2K-published games include the top-selling and top-rated NBA video game simulation series NBA® 2K, as well as WWE® 2K, The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA TOUR®, Borderlands™, BioShock®, Mafia®, Sid Meier’s Civilization® and XCOM®.

    “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,” said Joe Ruggiero, Senior Vice President of Consumer Products at the NFL. “2K is a worldwide leader in sports video games, with a proven track record of creating best-in-class and award-winning games and we look forward to sharing more about the projects we are working on with them in the future.”

    Today’s NFL partnership announcement follows several recent growth updates from the publisher and its development studios.

    “It’s an exciting time for 2K and our fans,” said Ismailer. “We’re growing our s​ports offerings and building on our core games with new IP, as well as continued support of award-winning franchises, all with the goal of giving our fans more amazing games and entertainment for years to come.”
    This article was originally published in forum thread: NFL and 2K Announce Partnership to Produce Multiple New Video Games started by cdj View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. CLW's Avatar
      CLW -
      LMFAO "non simulation experiences" has to = Madden direct competitor right?

      Madden 20 is nothing more than a run stretch dive and send 7-8 on defense game ALL year long. EA ONLY cares about making that cash money from their card casino and they cannot even do that without screwing up 1-3 times a month failing to put new limited cards in packs etc....

      I pray to God 2K can put out something decent and maybe make a push for a NCAA deal with it caves/collapses
    1. jaymo76's Avatar
      jaymo76 -
      Sadly 2K cannot make an actual SIM based game so likely we get the 2k street variety. Ugh!