The two collaborated from 1999-2004 to develop the “NFL 2K” game series
The NFL and 2K started creating games in 1999. Photo: Getty Images
Football-loving gamers have waited 16 years since the last “NFL 2K” title was published, but soon their patience will pay off.
On Tuesday the National Football League and game developer 2K announced they will team back up for the first time since 2004 to create a new non-simulated NFL video game slated for a 2021 release date.
A 2K spokesperson confirmed the project is in development. The spokesperson also told TheWrap that 2K couldn’t say what the game will be just yet, but clarified it is not the same as 2K’s prior successful titles in the simulated sports arena, which include WWE games and the popular basketball-themed sports title NBA 2K.
“I don’t know what we’re making, but I know what we aren’t making,” the 2K spokesperson joked.
Financial terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.
“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,” 2K President David Ismailer said in a statement. “It’s exciting to bring together 2K’s expertise in creating award-winning sports games with the NFL’s renowned status as a world-class entertainment and sports organization.”
The NFL and 2K first linked in 1999 to create the first “NFL 2K” video game for the Sega Dreamcast console. In 2001 the game was added to the PlayStation 2 console for the first time. Since then, five sequels have been released including two spinoffs made in collaboration with sports broadcaster ESPN; “ESPN NFL Football” and “ESPN NFL 2K5.”
2K is one publishing label of several owned and operated by Take-Two Interactive Software, a game publisher based in New York. Take-Two also owns publishing labels Rockstar Games and Private Division.
Demand for a reprise of the NFL 2K franchise has remained relatively consistent since 2004, and revisiting the partnership is also a way for the NFL to tap back into the growing (and lucrative) gaming market.
“Expanding the NFL’s presence in the world of gaming has become a focus for the League as we look to grow the next generation of our fanbase and reviving our partnership with 2K was a natural step in that effort,” NFL consumer products lead Joe Ruggiero said in a statement.
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