After a three year hiatus, 2K Sports has announced it will be again competing with EA's exclusive NFL rights with a newly announced, nonlicensed Visual Concepts-developed franchise, All-Pro Football
2K's 2004-released ESPN NFL 2K5
turned out to be its last title in the football series, when competitor Electronic Arts announced
late in the year that it had entered into an agreement with the NFL for an exclusive five year license.
Following shortly thereafter, EA also announced that it had entered into a similar agreement with sports network ESPN, giving it a 15 year exclusive license, effectively shutting out Visual Concepts from developing a football title using any 'name' players or teams.
But now, though still light on precise details of which players and teams might make up the traditionally authentic football franchise, 2K Sports has announced that All-Pro Football 2K8
will be available this summer on unspecified 'next generation' consoles. Since NFL licensing is out of the question, it's possible that former players and other relevant licensing may be included in the game - though 2K has yet to comment on specific details of the game.
Said Visual Concepts president Greg Thomas, "Football gamers have been awaiting the return of the 2K series. All-Pro Football 2K8 will deliver an authentic next generation gridiron experience and we are happy to give fans another choice in the football category."