Take-Two Is Back in Business With the NFL

Take Two hasn't produced an NFL-licensed game since 2004 when the league signed an exclusive deal with Electronic Arts.
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Video game maker Take-Two Interactive  (TTWO) - Get Report announced that its 2K game imprint has revived its partnership with the NFL, agreeing to produce non-simulation football games with NFL licensing starting in 2021. 

It has been 16 years since Take-Two last produced an NFL game after the sports league signed an exclusive deal with Take Two rival Electronic Arts  (EA) - Get Report.

That deal is still in place, with EA Sports' Madden NFL franchise being one of the industry's top-selling games annually. But now Take-Two will be able to produce games that won't directly compete with EA's offerings. 

"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," 2K President David Ismailer. "It’s exciting to bring together 2K’s expertise in creating award-winning sports games with the NFL’s renowned status as a world-class entertainment and sports organization."

2K's pre-2004 franchise, NFL 2K, garnered both critical and consumer acclaim and the company's NFL 2K5 game is often considered one of the best football simulation games ever created.

With EA Sports' exclusive simulation rights still in place it is unclear exactly what type of game 2K is developing, but the company did say that it has already begun work on multiple projects that will start launching in 2021. 

Take-Two shares rose sharply earlier in Tuesday's trading session, but gave up gains in sympathy with the wider market downturn. 

Take-Two shares were falling 0.3% to $113.53 on Tuesday. 

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