2K’s last officially licensed NFL football video game – ESPN NFL 2K5 – came out in 2004, and since that time fans have clamoured for a deal that would bring the league and the publisher back together.
Today 2K has announced that it is indeed renewing its partnership with the NFL through a multi-year deal, although in a slightly different form than back in the glory days of the NFL 2K brand.
2K is planning multiple “non-simulation football game experiences,” according to the official press release, which is already early in development and scheduled to release in 2021.
No word on which platforms these titles will appear on or whether NFL 2K series developer Visual Concepts will be back at the helm in any capacity.
“We’re thrilled to be back in business with the NFL in a partnership that will span multiple video games centred on fun, approachable, and social experiences,” said David Ismailer, president of 2K.
Although the deal’s “non-simulation” stipulation seemingly all but rules out 2K once again challenging Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL franchise, it’s possible the new deal could pave the way for an NFL Blitz-style, over-the-top take on the sport. In a similar vein, in 2018 2K published the NBA Jam-inspired NBA Playgrounds 2 by Saber Interactive.