Exclusive rights to NFL simulation video games belong to EA Sports through at least 2025 thanks to a vote from league owners this offseason, however, that doesn’t mean current NFL players won’t be featured in other games in the near future.
2K announced Thursday an agreement with the NFL Players Association to include more than 2,000 NFL players in multiple new football games starting in 2021.
2K had previously announced a “multiyear partnership” with the NFL to produce future football-related games. The latest agreement confirms those games will feature active NFL player names, jersey numbers, images and likenesses.
“We’re thrilled to be working with the NFLPA and OneTeam to bring the biggest and best stars in football to the games we’re working on,” said 2K president David Ismailer. “We want to give fans experiences that are authentic, memorable and fun, and having a roster of real-life sports heroes through the Players Association and OneTeam is a huge part of delivering on that promise.”
Specific game titles, developers and release dates will be announced at a later date.
“2K has a proven track record of high-profile and successful business relationships with other sports leagues, professional athletes and their collective fans,” said Steve Scebelo, Interim President of NFL Players Inc., the marketing and licensing arm the NFLPA. “The label makes some of the best sports video games in the world, and we look forward to working with 2K, our players and OneTeam on future projects.”
“Sports video gaming is a massive growth category, and the partnership between the NFLPA and 2K presents an opportunity not only to excite current gamers but also reach untapped future audiences,” said Ahmad Nassar, CEO of OneTeam Partners. “Our role is to bring together strong collective rights that can be supported by the most innovative and creative businesses, benefiting all stakeholders. We are pleased to be a part of this important partnership.”