NFL Expands Beyond Madden with New Roster of 2K Games

2K is putting the team back together, but it might not look like it did 16 years ago.

2K is putting the team back together, but it might not look like it did 16 years ago.

EA won’t be the only developer making NFL football games anymore.

The National Football League and 2K Games have announced a new partnership in which 2K will develop “non-simulation NFL football games.” The first release will come in 2021.

Neither the NFL nor 2K games elaborated on the definition of “non-simulation,” and it is not yet known if the new catalog of games will carry the classic NFL 2K moniker. It is also unclear on what platforms the games will release.

According to IGN, 2K President David Ismailer said the new collaboration with the NFL pertains to at least several different titles, hinting that they might be more accessible than EA’s Madden titles.  

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.

Though the partnership has been in the works for some time according to NFL Vice President and Head of Gaming and esports Rachel Hoagland (per IGN), very little information outside of the partnership’s existence was provided.

The last game in the NFL 2K franchise was NFL 2K5 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It released in July 2004. All-Pro Football 2K8 was released in 2007 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is a spiritual successor to the mainline NFL 2K games. Only one game was in the series was ever developed.  

In a press release regarding the new partnership, EA said that it remains “the exclusive publisher of NFL simulation games, and our partnership with the NFL and NFLPA remains unchanged.”

According to the developer, Madden 20 has most successful game in the franchise. Though no hard sales numbers were provided, Madden 20 was the most-downloaded game on PS4 in August. It has also been in the NPD’s Top 5 best-selling games since release. 

In our review of Madden 20, Mark Delaney praised the game for its story mode, MUT mode, and X-Factors, saying that “the major changes this year mostly feel like course corrections for past mistakes, but they’re the building blocks of a contender for years to come.”

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on the upcoming NFL 2K games, as well as EA’s Madden franchise.

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