Another step towards NFL 2K13 seems to have been made. As reported back in late January, rumors have been swirling around TakeTwo (T2), the parent company of 2K Games and 2K Sports, that preparations were being made to bid on the NFL license in 2012 once EA's exclusivity agreement ends.
The company was planning fire sales throughout its operations in order to raise capital in an attempt to negotiate a deal with the NFL. As mentioned this can't happen until the license ends in 2012. Our sources did mention back in January that the company had to start planning now because of the logistical scope of everything involved. Also mentioned was that talks could start within 6 months of the EA exclusive contract's end, "as to allow all parties adequate time to talk".
The fire sale appears to have officially started. Take2 has sold off one of its largest assets with little notice from the public. Take2 has sold off North America’s largest video game distributor in JOAG, or “Jack of All Games”. The distributor was a huge asset to the company by distributing the mega-publisher’s games on the cheap in addition to turning a profit for Take2 by also distributing the games of most other publishers who sell in the Americas. JOAG is now owned by Synnex of Canada.
Hopefully this pays off in terms of building up funds for the NFL license, but this could certainly hurt Take2 in the long run if they don’t get the license. JOAG gave T2 a great channel of distribution and retail connections that will be sorely missed in the future.
On the positive side, at least it looks like everything is panning out in terms of the rumors we had heard about 2K Sports releasing a new football game. We’ll keep an eye on this one as it continues to develop.