2K Signs NFL Deal for ‘Non-Simulation’ Sports Games
The National Football League (NFL) has struck a new deal with 2K Games that will see the video game company make multiple non-simulation football titles in the coming years, officially reuniting the two companies for the first time since 2004.
Terms were not disclosed for the deal, which will see 2K start making games this year. The sides are not revealing the precise games today, but they will be able to revolve around any aspect of football that doesn’t involve simulating the full games themselves.
EA Sports’ Madden title is the sole simulation video game licensee for the NFL currently, but a source said that its deal expires after the 2021-2022 season, so 2K forming a new relationship with the league could lead to it joining the RFP process for the next simulation agreement.
2K and the NFL announced the deal today, and EA Sports later responded to the notion that 2K may bid on the simulation license in the coming years by saying in a statement: “EA SPORTS is the exclusive publisher of NFL simulation games, and our 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’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.”
For his part, 2K President David Ismailer said in a statement, “The NFL is one of the most successful sports brands in the world, known for creating incredible entertainment for fans. 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.”
Adam Stern is a staff writer for Sports Business Journal, where this article first appeared.