In a new licensing agreement inked between the NFL Players Association and 2K Sports' gaming publisher, future 2K Sports football games will now be able to include current NFL players.
According to an announcement made earlier today, 2K Sports will be partnering with OneTeam Partners and the NFL Players Association to grant the game the rights to "names, numbers, images, and likenesses for over 2,000 current NFL players."
"2K has a proven track record of high-profile and successful business relationships with other sports leagues, professional athletes and their collective fans,” Interim President of NFL Players Inc. Steve Scebelo said. “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.”
2K Sports had also signed a multi-year deal with the NFL back in March to begin making football games again, with the last NFL 2K game coming out in July of 2004, along with an unlicensed football game in 2007.
"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,” CEO of OneTeam Partners Ahmad Nassar said. “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.”
Where these new games will stand against EA's storied Madden series is still unclear, but 2K's NFL games are currently in the early stages of development, with no specific gaming titles, developers, or release dates announced yet.