2K reunites with NFL to make football video games

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Video game publisher 2K is back to working with the NFL, although it comes with a significant catch.

On Tuesday, 2K announced a partnership with the National Football League to make multiple video games based on the pro football brand. However, 2K says the titles will be non-simulation experiences.

Translation: Don't expect a direct competitor to Electronic Arts' popular Madden franchise for home consoles.

"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," said David Ismailer, President of 2K, in a statement.

Although 2K didn't offer details on the games or which studios will develop them, the publisher says projects are in "early development" and will launch during the 2021 calendar year.

In a statement obtained by U.S. TODAY, EA said the partnership will not have any impact on their current arrangement with the NFL.

"EA SPORTS is the exclusive publisher of NFL simulation games, and our partnership with the NFL and NFLPA remains unchanged," said EA.

Before EA's Madden NFL franchise dominated the gridiron, 2K was a viable competitor with its own NFL game, NFL 2K, available between 1999 and 2004.

In 2005, as Gamespot reported, the NFL signed a deal with EA to give them exclusive rights to the league's license for video games, knocking 2K to the sidelines.

The publisher does develop other sports games, including the popular NBA 2K franchise, as well as a game based on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).


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