UPDATE 1/14/20: It looks more and more likely that the studio the XFL is talking with is, in fact, 2K.
SGO has learned via an XFL staff member that members of the league were told about the talks “a couple of months ago“.
When reached for comment 2K responded with the following:
“We do not comment on rumors or speculation.”
More to come…
UPDATE 1/12/20: SGO has been told that Axis Games is not the studio in talks with the XFL.
ORIGINAL: An XFL video game is closer to becoming a reality.
When the league announced its return back in 2018, one of the first questions many had about it was whether there’d be a video game release. With the XFL set to start its inaugural season at the beginning of February, that question has popped back up, and an answer may be closer to arriving than many anticipated.
Sources have confirmed to Sports Gamers Online that the XFL is currently deep in negotiations to bring the league to the next generation of consoles in either 2021 or 2022. Due to the nature of the talks, nothing specific was said about the company other than it was an “experienced developer.”
According to one person close to the matter, the studio is wary of signing a deal after seeing the failure of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) in early 2019. One of the contingencies of any contract with the XFL is that the league show’s signs of reaching — or announces — a second season before any agreement is made public.
“The last thing either party wants is to announce something of this size only for the league to go belly up in less than a year,” the source said.
The game would come to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in addition to the current-gen systems, though part of the discussion centers on whether to make it a next-gen only game.
As far as the timeline of release, the option for 2021 is there, but it would be a late fall launch rather than anything near the beginning of the XFL’s second year. It’s more likely that the game would launch in Q1 2022 around the start of what would be the league’s third season, which also happens to be a less crowded time period for game releases.
The XFL and 2K Sports?
Obviously, the first studio that comes to mind is that of 2K. The company already has a deal with the WWE with its WWE 2K franchise, and it would make sense to extend that partnership in some way to include the XFL. After all, no studio would get fans talking about an XFL video game more than the one that released arguably the most beloved football game ever, NFL 2K5.
An EA partnership, while possible, is highly unlikely due to the company’s agreement with the NFL. The thought that the NFL would even allow EA to enter an agreement with another professional football league is hard to imagine. Besides, it would likely be built on the same engine that powers Madden anyway.
With the two behemoths out of the way, what other studios could the league be talking with?
Axis Games was close to signing a licensing agreement with the AAF just before the league ceased operations back in April, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team behind Axis Football make a run at the XFL.
When it comes to other studios, options, albeit longshots, include Sony and Microsoft bringing the game in-house. But it’s more likely that the game is handled by a third-party developer instead.
What will an XFL video game look like? Will it be announced before the end of the league’s inaugural season? Stay tuned to Sports Gamers Online for more information.
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