2K Sports and the NFL today announced a renewed partnership, after the publisher-developer hadn't worked with the giant US sports code and organisation since 2004. However, the key phrasing of this announcement that this partnership will be centred around "non-simulation football" suggests the NFL's longstanding relationship with EA for the Madden series of games will go unchanged.
Instead, what this deal represents is "an expansion of videogame properties for the NFL". We've seen recently with the AFL in our own country a shift into building codified esports teams, which could be part of the new partnership, however, there are also plenty of opportunities around properties such as the burgeoning XFL which is owned by Vince McMahon. Not surprisingly, 2K Sports also has a longstanding relationship with the McMahon-owned WWE franchises for their WWE 2K brand of games.
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.Where all of this leads is anyone's guess, but 2K will have definitely lined some coffers here, or at least spent some of that sweet, sweet Red Dead Redemption 2 dollarydoos to land such a big fish.“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.”