A few months ago, we learned the exciting news that 2K had renewed its partnership with the NFL through a multi-year deal. This was a nice surprise, as 2K's last officially licensed NFL football video game – ESPN NFL 2K5 – came out in 2004. At the time, the press release revealed multiple games were already in development and scheduled to release in 2021, but these titles would be a bit different than what we had seen in the past, as they would be “non-simulation football game experiences.” Today, 2K confirmed actual NFL stars would be in its games by announcing a partnership with OneTeam Partners and the NFL Players Association.
The deal allows 2K to feature names, numbers, images, and likenesses for over 2,000 current NFL players. Financial terms were not disclosed at this time.
“We’re thrilled to be working with the NFLPA and OneTeam to bring the biggest and best stars in football to the games we’re working on,” said David Ismailer, president of 2K. “We want to give fans experiences that are authentic, memorable and fun, and having a roster of real-life sports heroes through the Players Association and OneTeam is a huge part of delivering on that promise.”
2K said specific game titles, developers, and release dates will be revealed at a later date. Even so, this is an important deal for the company to get. Due to the games being “non-simulation football game experiences,” they may not be going toe to toe with Madden, but it may potentially open the door for something like an NFL Blitz-style game. Being able to have the actual players on the field with you only adds to the excitement and possibilities.