When asked how long this deal has been in the works, NFL Vice President and Head of Gaming and eSports Rachel Hoagland said, “We stayed in touch quite regularly over the course of the past couple of years.” NFL Senior Vice President of Consumer Products Joe Ruggiero added: “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.”. There’s no release date beyond 2021 for 2K’s NFL games. So does this deal mean that EA no longer has the exclusive rights to make NFL games? Matthew Byrd | That’ll be changing in the future, as 2K has struck a deal with the NFL that will see it releasing multiple licensed football games in the future. As many of you know, EA has been the exclusive developer/publisher of NFL games since 2005. Many still consider that game to be the greatest football title ever made. NFL brings game highlights and other clips to TikTok, NFL will bring video podcasts and game clips to Facebook Watch, 2K Games joins Activision, Bethesda in pulling titles from GeForce NOW. There’s quite a lot to talk about here, so let’s get the elephant out of the room first. ... earliest possible release window is April 2021. Cooper in Pop Culture: 15 Best Movie and TV Moments, MST3K Turkey Day 2020: How to Watch the Marathon This Thanksgiving, NFL 2K Football Games to Return in 2021, but Won’t Challenge Madden. “The NFL is one of the most successful sports brands in the world, known for creating incredible entertainment for fans,” said 2K President David Ismailer. Incidentally, its decision to pursue exclusive NFL rights came after 2K released the widely popular NFL 2K5 in 2004. The NFL 2K series could return in 2022, and if the release title/year concept continues as it has in the past, the first simulation 2K football since NFL 2K5 would be NFL 2K23. @SilverTuna014, Matthew Byrd is a freelance writer and entertainment enthusiast living in Brooklyn. What we’re saying is that there are numerous potentially exciting options. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible. Having said that, we’re curious to see what the new NFL 2K will look like. In lieu of a proper simulation-focused NFL 2K21, what do you hope to see from 2K? Here's what that means for the future of football video games. NFL 2K Football Manager? “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.”. “The games will be non-simulation football game experiences,” 2K said in its press release, adding, “While specific game titles, developers, and release dates will be announced at a later date, 2K confirmed the projects are in early development and will launch starting in calendar year 2021.” 2K Senior VP of Sports Strategy and Licensing Jason Argent told IGN, “These games will be ‘NFL 2K’ products, definitely.”, This is the first time anyone but EA will release an NFL football video game since 2K’s extremely well-received, aggressively priced ESPN NFL 2K5 in July 2004 – after which EA signed a long-term exclusive deal with the NFL. “While specific game titles, developers, and release dates will be announced at a later date, 2K confirmed the projects are in early development and will launch starting in calendar year 2021,” 2K Senior VP of Sports Strategy and Licensing Jason Argent said in a statement to IGN. After 15 years, 2K Sports and the NFL have made a deal to renew their partnership. That means we’ll see 2K’s first football games under this partnership release sometime after March 31st, 2021.