The deal was made with the player’s union.
For many years, EA has had a stranglehold on the NFL license. Via their long running and iconic Madden franchise, they signed an exclusive deal with the league years ago that has since left any other other publisher unable to use the popular license. But things seem to be changing, if even so slightly, as a new deal was reached that will put 2K Games in the conversation.
It was announced earlier in the year that the NFL and 2K Games had reached a deal to create games together. The catch was that what they are going to produce will be “non-simulation” games, though what that actually means isn’t entirely clear. What those games will look like is anyone’s guess, but 2K Games have now confirmed they have also reached a deal with OneTeam Partners and the National Football League Players Association to use the likeness and numbers of players in whatever they produce, so if you were worried about not having your favorite player in these “non-simulation games,” you can rest easy.
It’ll be interesting to see what 2K ultimately produces considering it’s been so long since someone besides EA has been able to use the NFL license. 2K has created more arcade and cartoony games with some sports licenses they own, such as NBA and WWE. Whatever it’ll be, it’s a ways out it seems. But in the meantime, Madden NFL 21 will be releasing next month for your football fix.