The NFL and 2K announced a multi-year partnership that will encompass multiple future video games. This marks the return of football-themed games to 2K’s stable of notable sports titles and original IP in over a decade, also it’s an expansion of video game properties for the NFL. The first games in this partnership, expected in 2021, will offer an NFL-licensed alternative to EA’s best-selling MADDEN NFL powerhouse game for the first time since 2004. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Being able to expand its presence in the world of gaming has become a focus of the NFL as they look to grow the next generation of our fanbase and reviving their partnership with 2K was a natural step in that effort” according to Joe Ruggiero, NFL senior VP of consumer products. Although any new NFL2K game will be able to use the names, logos, and stadiums of real NFL teams, the licensing deal does not cover virtual versions of the players themselves. Rights to those players would have to be covered by a separate deal with the NFL Players Association union, which was purposely NOT mentioned in 2K’s announcement. A 2K representative refused to comment on the existence of any NFLPA deal.