2K Games announced a deal with the NFL today to release a number of new football games in the coming years, with the first slated to launch sometime next year.
It’s not at all clear what these new NFL games will consist of though. “The games will be non-simulation football game experiences,” 2K stated in its press release. That suggests they’ll be steering clear of the formula honed by the Madden series, but who knows what genres or twists 2K’s NFL games will be exploring instead. Management sims? Visual novels? A JRPG?
There hasn’t been a major rival to EA’s Madden series since back in 2004 when ESPN 2K5 released at less than half the price of Madden NFL 2005. As a result of that competition, EA went on to sign an exclusive licence deal with the NFL. In 2014, EA CEO Andrew Wilson told Polygon “we still have a number of years left on our agreements there.” The exact length of the exclusivity deal has never been clear.
But 2K has shown hints of wanting to break back into the world of football, including when it put a football mini-game in 2018’s NBA 2k19. Whatever it’s upcoming NFL games turn out to be, hopefully they aren’t plagued by NBA 2K’s terrible microtransactions.