2K Is Allowed To Start Making Football Games Again....What Does That Mean?
In 2015 (and still today) there was nothing like NFL 2K5 as far as simulation football was concerned. I literally skipped classes in college to play. We're not talking in a competitive healthy way with friends, either. We're talking by myself, in the dorm, eating pizza in my boxers trying to beat the Cowboys in week six of my fifth season with the Packers on a game I could have paused or saved at any point.
I strongly state as do many others who play video game football that NFL 2K5 is the greatest simulation football game to ever exist. Shout out to Madden 2003 though.
The best part of 2K5 was no doubt the presentation. The audience, broadcast, halftime presentation and overall feel of the game was the most authentic it had ever been. I mean, just look at this. This was in 2005! Sure, the players looked like they were halfway through digesting refrigerators but that was the style back then. Look at that aura. The light fog, the ESPN ticker on the bottom, the whole Monday Night Football experience was alive.
Now, Madden 20 was a big improvement in my opinion over the last couple of iterations because asshole super serum fueled, rocket up their ass linebackers couldn't jump ten yards into the air to intercept a pass your QB was throwing FIFTY YARDS DOWN THE GODDAMN FIELD.
Still yet, Madden has never nailed the presentation the way 2K did. It's 2020, why do we still have such shitty looking crowds? With that being said the news I'm about to tell you will be very exciting, even if it's not exactly what we were hoping for.....
The NFL and 2K have announced a multiyear agreement to make non-simulation football games. 2K is expected to start rolling out titles as early as 2021.
What does non-simulation mean? It means that the game can't be "realistic" in a sense. They can't simulate an actual NFL game. They can however use the logos and team names to create a fun "arcade" style game. It's also not clear whether or not 2K will be able to use player likenesses at this time. To do so, they would have to strike an secondary deal with the NFL Players Association which they were unwilling to comment about at the time but you have to imagine that's coming. Remember how weird it was to play with Jordan in NBA Live when it was just a bald dude named "Player"?
There are several things to think about here. My mind goes directly towards NFL Blitz and I kind of hate it. The best thing about 2K was their ability to create that real in game experience which is exactly what their not allowed to do here. XFL? Now, we're talking. But technically that has nothing to do with this licensing agreement. I can't see how the two interact. All I know is I'd love to see a motherfucking XFL game. The most likely option here is that 2K is going to make either an arcade style game (like NBA Streetz or NFL Blitz), an all pro skill challenges game (think the training modes in Madden, but is there enough there for a full title?) or their own version of a story mode NFL game in the vein of Madden's "Long Shot".
All hope is not lost however at 2K being able to at some point make a full NFL title again and soon. The exclusive rights deal they have with EA Sports is up and over with at the end of the coming NFL season and there's thought that the NFL might look towards opening up competition for the first time in years which is whats best for everyone. Now, we just need to find some competition for Youtube and the local Water Company and we're set.
The timing here is very interesting. 2K has a football game releasing right before EA's Madden contract is up. This could be a "prove it" deal for the NFL to decide on whether or not to give 2K another crack at the greatest game of all time. Here was EA's comment on the situation:
What do you want to see happen? Would you like to see competition with several developers in the mix? An XFL game? Or do you think one developer should hold the exclusive rights to avoid confusion? I think we all want another College Football Game. How great was 'NCAA Football' or 'March Madness'? Fuck it, let's bring back 'Goldeneye' too.