NFL and 2K Sports announce renewed partnership with first title coming in 2021

After a nearly 15-year hiatus, today the NFL and 2K Studios announced that they’d be joining forces once again to produce a football video game starting in 2021. However, don’t get your hopes up too much, Madden and EA Sports still have a tight grip on simulation rights for the NFL. So what will this new 2K title look like? Head below for everything we know so far about the next generation of NFL 2K titles slated for release next fall.

2K Studios slated to bring back football

For a few years, there was a great competition between EA Sports’ iconic Madden title and NFL 2K. Madden, of course, had a stronghold on gamers who had been playing its franchise since the mid-1990s. But for newer gamers and the Dreamcast crowd, NFL 2K offered a different take with ESPN integration and other noteworthy features.

Alas, the all-mighty dollar came knocking in 2005 and 2K Sports ultimately relented its NFL license to EA Sports. In the time since, 2K has developed its own stronghold on the NBA and each of the studio giants has stayed in its respective corners. However, today’s announcement details exciting news for long-time 2K fans as a new NFL game appears to be in the making with a 2021 launch date.

So what will a new NFL 2K title look like?

That’s a great question. Officially, next year’s release is limited to “non-simulation football game experiences.” But it’s unclear at this point what that might look like. Perhaps it’s something in the vein of NBA 2K Playgrounds, which 2K studios used as early leverage as it developed its basketball titles.

The game is in “early development”, so it’s safe to say that 2K may not yet have a final feel for that this title will look like. There’s also few details on which platforms will offer support for this title. It’s important to note that the agreement only covers the league and its 32 team’s logos, without the key inclusion of any player-likeness, which Madden still exclusively owns.

One important, but unlikely scenario, worth consider is that EA’s contract with the NFL expires in 2022. So who knows, with a strong showing could the NFL be willing to jump ship from EA at that time? One thing we know for sure, the NFL is all about the money, and it’s going to take a big payout from either 2K or EA to secure rights when the next round of negotiation comes up.

Source: NFL

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