Update: Electronic Arts has issued a statement regarding its ongoing partnership with the NFL. EA says it remains the NFL's sole partner on "simulation games," a distinction that may suggest 2K is not in a position to create a direct Madden competitor.
"EA SPORTS is the exclusive publisher of NFL simulation games, and our partnership with the NFL and NFLPA remains unchanged," the statement reads. "Our agreements have always allowed for non-exclusive development of non-simulation games on various platforms. Our commitment to NFL fans, which spans almost 30 years, has never been stronger, and we’re having our biggest year yet."
Our original story continues below.
There hasn't been an NFL 2K game in almost 16 years, but that could be set to change. Today, the NFL and 2K announced a multi-video game partnership deal.
"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 2K president David Ismailer in a statement through the Hollywood Reporter. "It's exciting to bring together 2K's expertise in creating award-winning sports games with the NFL's renowned status."
The "award-winning sports games" that Ismailer refers to are 2K's NBA 2K basketball series. 2K's basketball series has been a dominant competitor in a field where it's faced relatively little resistance from EA's NBA Live series, the latest release of which had its 2019/2020 edition canceled back in October 2019.
"Expanding the NFL's presence in the world of gaming has become a focus for the League," said Joe Ruggiero, senior VP of consumer products at the NFL. He goes on to talk about how reviving the NFL's partnership with 2K was a "natural step" in the effort to grow the League's fanbase, as well as adding that the NFL looks "forward to sharing more about the projects we are working on them with in the future.
Right now, there isn't much else to go on for the NFL 2K revival. Whether 2K's new NFL video games are even called NFL 2K remains to be seen, but one thing's very clear: EA's Madden NFL games are going to have a competitor for the first time in a long time.