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NFL and 2k agree to new video game deal

With non-simulation games, fans will have more options to choose from, beginning in 2021

NFL: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Ever dream of being the general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Of being the guy or gal to make the decisions surrounding players like Jameis Winston and Mike Evans? Do you franchise tag Shaquil Barrett, or re-sign him? Trades, moves, relocations even!

Currently, if you do, then you turn to Madden. It’s really the only choice you have. But not for long.

Big news for NFL fans who are also fans of gaming. Today, the NFL and 2k revealed a multi-year deal regarding the production of future video games.

Fans of the Madden video game franchise developed and published by EA Sports, have long been calling for a shift in the way the NFL approaches it’s video game licensing. For America’s most popular sporting league to limit the competition making their video games, just seemed off, and resulted in what many feel is a stall in game innovations in the era of microtransactions.

While this new deal isn’t an immediate threat to the Madden franchise, fans of the games will be happy to hear the NFL is branching out with a new company, even if the future products being discussed aren’t going to represent traditional football practices.

Specific titles and release dates have not been disclosed as of now, but 2k did confirm their new projects will launch in 2021. As part of the announcement, 2k President David Ismailer made the following statement:

“The NFL is one of the most successful sports brands in the world, known for creating incredible entertainment for fans,” said David Ismailer, President of 2K. “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. 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.”

Many fans still hold to the truth that NFL 2k5 was the last great officially licensed NFL simulation game. And while we won’t see a return that specific line of football gaming from 2k, it’s great to see them re-entering the conversation in any light.

This light will shine specifically on non-simulation games, which means we won’t see a head-to-head match-up between Madden and the next 2k football title. However, what 2k brings in ingenuity, creativity and storytelling is well known, and any threat to Madden sales could see a shift in how football gaming progresses over the next decade.

No matter the result, football fans who are gaming fans - like me - will have a new option to consider when turning on their systems in 2021. And it’s great to see 2k getting back into the arena.