2K Games will once again develop NFL titles, the company has announced.
Today, the National Football League (NFL) and 2K Game announced a multi-year partnership for multiple titles.
The games, unlike EA Sports' Madden titles, will be non-simulation football games. 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 the calendar year 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.”
EA released a statement regarding the new deal, assuring Madden fans it is still the "exclusive publisher of NFL simulation games," and that its partnership with the NFL and NFLPA "remains unchanged."
"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."
Visual Concepts is the developer of sports games for the 2K Sports label. Today's announcement marks the first time the series has returned to the 2K label since ESPN NFL 2K5 in 2004. In 2005, EA signed an exclusivity deal with the NFL making Madden NFL the only series allowed to use NFL team and player names for its Madden simulation titles.