News Post


When this summer hits, it will have been a decade since NFL 2K5 was released in stores -- the last licensed non-EA NFL game. Given the news we received yesterday from the EA conference call, that EA still has a 'number of years' on their NFL agreement, it seems that AAA big-box NFL gaming from a company not-named Electronic Arts is likely gone for good.

However, do you think another company will try its hand at a non-licensed title or something not unlike what 2K did with All Pro Football 2K8? Do you even think such an approach is viable?

Vote in our poll on our frontpage and above you in the forums!

Game: ESPN NFL 2K5Reader Score: 9.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS2 / XboxVotes for game: 81 - View All
Member Comments
# 1 kjcheezhead @ 01/29/14 09:55 AM
I think someone will. A good franchise mode and logo creator like Backbreakers is key. There is no college game anymore a game like this would attract college fans now along with people wanting variety. It wouldn't be an a list title, but I think it would be profitable.
# 2 Blitzburgh @ 01/29/14 11:18 AM
I think its really a shame that the NFL has "teamed" up with only one company to make a licensed NFL game. For someone like me, an older guy, who grew up with games on systems that only had stick figures for people is a shame. lol

I don't really have the time to play like I used to but occasionally I enjoy a good Football, Baseball or Hockey game. If you don't really care for Madden then you are out of luck.

I was having a blast playing NFL 2k5. The league I was in was awesome and very competitive. When I got the news of what the NFL and EA had done it was like I lost my best friend! lol I enjoyed the game that much it was crazy. It wasn't perfect but it was a better sim to me than anything I have ever played in a football game.

It would be great if someone could bring that franchise back and take it to the next level of detail that we see in today's games. For me though, I would have to be able to customize the teams easily to the NFL or NCAA etc...Maybe if the game was really enjoyable with fictional characters and league play I wouldn't need the NFL but it would have to look and play incredible...

I think Back Breaker with real looking uniforms, player models, and a normal camera would have been a step in the right direction. Even All Pro 2k8 with all fictional players but maybe had a story line and today's graphics would be a great game.

The game has to have the eye candy first to catch peoples attention and then have a great animation system to keep them interested.
# 3 LingeringRegime @ 01/29/14 11:22 AM
But, But Hip Hop Gamer said...lol

Seriously, I hope that 2K will put out either a fully customizable fictional football game out, or another APF. Doubt it will happen, but I can dream.
# 4 bonannogiovanni @ 01/29/14 11:22 AM
Our grandchildren will...
# 5 Dwenny @ 01/29/14 11:30 AM
No, I don't think so. The only hope I see is if Santa Monica Studios (MLB the Show developers) decided to give it a go through the PS4 as the primary console. Don't know if it is profitable or even legal to do so.
# 6 asu666 @ 01/29/14 11:43 AM
To this day, I'd rather pay $20 for NFL 2K5 and play it for a year than pay $60 for the next gen version of Madden. 2K5 is still superior in many ways, which speaks to how directionless Madden has been over the years.
# 7 mcmax3000 @ 01/29/14 11:51 AM
I voted no, but the more I think about it, with digital distribution, and self publishing on consoles becoming more, and more prevalent, I could see a small team doing something unlicensed, with a smaller scope & budget, similar to what HB Studios is doing with The Golf Club.

I don't think there's any chance you see something from a major publisher like 2K though.
# 8 khaliib @ 01/29/14 12:01 PM
Football is football if the game is built/done right with "Full Customization" (as kj noted above).
I can create my own teams given the ability.

If I had as say, I would create a Jr College Football game (w/out school logos or course) just to get around all the legal mess the NCAA/EA/Player's have created.
It's still the same exact set-up as the NCAA and allows gamer's to personalize teams because most, if not all of us know someone that plays at these schools.
There's still recruiting as well as the ability to have a coaching carousel were coach's impact the game.

The Online attraction is still there with a greater variety, and we would finally have a "True Playoff System".

I would establish DLC Modules that can be purchased to further expand the customization of the game...
- Stadium Module (actual stadium building)
- Uniform Module
- Play Design Module
- TV/Broadcast Module (I like to think outside the box)
As far as Broadcasting, I would inject various fictional Broadcast teams with fictional TV Networks (throw in a couple of crappy teams similar to the local broadcasting that some of us Mid-Major's have to deal with with our NCAA teams)

There's no license fees to be paid nor any of the NCAA restrictions placed on game build because of "Full Customization"

We crave/starve for a real simulation football game at this point.

There's football all around.
A developer just needs to be willing to try other avenues outside of the NFL and NCAA licensed stuff. (WITHOUT Gimmicky stuff of course!!!!)
# 9 elgreazy1 @ 01/29/14 12:27 PM
It's not going to happen.

This coming from a guy who's been playing APF2K8 since summer 2007 release date.

Developers are too scared to throw resources at a non-licensed football game after the shortcomings of Blitz, APF, Backbreaker, etc. Sports gamers have clearly shown they will not purchase non-licensed products. It's an endless cycle because no developer is willing to try out a new business model.
# 10 GlennN @ 01/29/14 12:39 PM
Originally Posted by elgreazy1
It's not going to happen.

This coming from a guy who's been playing APF2K8 since summer 2007 release date.

Developers are too scared to throw resources at a non-licensed football game after the shortcomings of Blitz, APF, Backbreaker, etc. Sports gamers have clearly shown they will not purchase non-licensed products. It's an endless cycle because no developer is willing to try out a new business model.
I agree. I wish it would happen, but I just don't see it happening.
# 11 J_Posse @ 01/29/14 12:56 PM
Originally Posted by GlennN
I agree. I wish it would happen, but I just don't see it happening.

Sadly, I must agree as well. Sucks that will likely never see another NFL 2K game, again.

# 12 jmik58 @ 01/29/14 12:58 PM
SCEA ... pick up the phone. You've worked wonders with The Show. How about some football?
# 13 CaseIH @ 01/29/14 01:09 PM
I think at some point someone will come along and make a football game to compete with EA. Im probably older than most hear so I actually remember when EA actually had good games,lol. Not sure why they have went down hill being as big a company as they are, but they havent made a good football game in quite a few years, and they have pretty much always had cluelesss devs making basketball.
No more effort than EA puts into its football game I do believe someone will see a opening and swoop in. We have seen what NBA2k has done to EA in the basketball game, and how bad MLB2k was compared to MLBTS, so its my thinking someone going to see $'s with how poor EA is and say hey it wont take much to make them look bad and take over the football gameing, like we have seen 2k do with basketball and SCEA do with baseball.

You would think that people would have a little more pride in their work than what EA has shown over the last several years, its a shame with how big the sport of football is, even though I do prefer basketball and baseball over football.
# 14 Mike Lowe @ 01/29/14 01:21 PM
I almost wish someone would "fake develop" a new game just to light a fire under EA. We need the Santa Claus of football...
# 15 debauchlord @ 01/29/14 01:28 PM
Nope, with a caveat. A non-licensed football game will fail on a console. Badly. However, if an indie studio were to give it a go, with a proper physics and lighting engine, and a tabula rasa philosophy (the game is an entire blank slate for you [the player] to "write" upon), and RELEASE IT ON PC (steam, probably), you will get buzz...enough buzz that your next iteration might be a digital download for consoles. I am pretty sure that is the only way it is going to work.
# 16 pietasterp @ 01/29/14 02:11 PM
Well, "ever" is a long time, but it certainly seems unlikely. Anyway, not within a time frame where I'll still care, since I'm basically losing interest in sports gaming by the day, and none of the recent events that have occurred are doing anything to alter that downward trajectory....face it, we're in the dark ages of sports gaming - whereas almost every other game genre is getting better with time, sports games may actually be getting worse. Can anyone call the latter half of this prior generation anything other than an unmitigated disaster for sports game fans?
# 17 inkcil @ 01/29/14 02:17 PM
I think the answer is no. Maybe by the time PS5 or 6 rolls around, but not on the current gen (XB1/PS4). Think about it, EA just lost NCAA and so they won't want to lose their grip on the NFL. No MLB game, no College Hoops, no NASCAR game, no Tiger, no Fight Night, EA BIG all but a foregone conclusion, NHL is niche and Grand Slam Tennis and NBA Live were commercial failures. And who knows how UFC will turn out.

So it's basically FIFA, the Need for Speed series and Madden holding their sports division together. I don't see how they could afford to take their claws out of Madden vis a vis NFL exclusive licensing given the current state of affairs with their sports games.
# 18 Dazraz @ 01/29/14 02:18 PM
Will we EVER see a NFL game by another developer? I don't think any of us can see infinitely into the future. Are we going to see a non-EA game in the foreseeable future is the question that should be asked & one whose answer appears to be a big no. The NFL is quite happy to hand EA the exclusive license if the price is right. Unless someone offers a better deal financially then the status quo will remain. The NFL have one interest. Cash flow! They have no interest in taking a moral stance on the issue of exclusivity until someone convinces them it will better line their pockets.
# 19 inkcil @ 01/29/14 02:25 PM

You are absolutely right. Other genres experience great advancement during the PS3/360 era while most sports genres saw their best days on the ps2/Xbox, football included. And the reason why football going backwards stings so much is because it is far and away Americas #1 sport.

While other gaming generes like FPS and Fighters got better, they also became more explicit, raunchy and racy. I can hardly find a shooter or fighter that has quality gameplay without excessive cursing and/or bouncing body parts. I don't play games for that crap, which is why I love sports games. It makes the decline of the sports game that much harder to bear.
# 20 Phillyboy57 @ 01/29/14 02:26 PM
Someday maybe but not in a while. EA plus NFL and NFL plus Microsoft = monopoly

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