XFL: Will 2K make the jump back into football?

Fans are calling for it, 2K have done it before… Will we get an XFL 2K football game on next-gen?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant
XFL game release

The XFL is back.

Vince McMahon’s failed 2001 attempt to get into the football business lives on in the NFL in the shape of sky cams and mic’d up players, but the name disappeared for years.

But at the weekend the XFL returned to our TV screens.

With a multi-year TV deal and a successful Week 1 of the season, it looks like XFL 2.0 will find a home.

And maybe even more…

The NFL went exclusive with EA in 2005, but before that 2K also put out a football game, and it’s fair to say it still has a cult following among gamers.

Fans have been desperate for 2K to return to football ever since.

While EA’s annual offering of Madden is usually well-received, the lack of competition has often been cited for the series feeling stale.

So could an XFL 2K game shake things up?

An existing relationship

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Vince McMahon may want to keep WWE and the XFL separate, but there is no way to ignore the fact that WWE and 2K’s relationship will play into any partnership between the games company and Vince’s football operation.

2K have made the WWE games since 2013 and that working relationship is a terrific foundation to build on.

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WWE 2K games are known for their depth and the way they embrace the weird and wild aspects of wrestling.

It’s fair to say that the XFL do plenty to try and differentiate themselves from the NFL, and that would play well to 2K’s strengths.

Trust issues?

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Of course, this implies there is trust between Vince and 2K, and that may not be the case.

It’s fair to say that WWE 2K20 was a disaster, and that could easily put any thoughts of an extra game on their books on hold.

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NBA 2K has been a strong series for years, with amazing reviews from critics and fans.

The revenue and sales speak for themselves, so given 2K’s success with sports titles there should be enough trust on both sides to get it over the line.

So when could we see a game?

xfl teams uniforms
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As long as the XFL survives this first season, having a game on the shelves doesn’t seem too outlandish for early 2021.

Of course, that puts a potential XFL 2K21 game right in the crosshair of the next-gen consoles too.

With Madden 21 a guarantee to come out before the PS5 and Xbox Series X it would be a huge coup for the XFL and 2K to be the first football game specifically built for the next-gen consoles.

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Between the double forward pass, the one-foot inbounds for catches, and the PAT rules there is so much scope for an amazing game that feels and plays differently to Madden.

Throw in 2K’s MyTEAM history and you can have a diverse game that offers similar card-collecting opportunities to Ultimate Team.

All of this is just speculation though. But we hope there is a game at some point, EA needs the competition.

Toby Durant

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