The NFL struck a deal with EA giving them exclusive rights to all league intellectual property, and the NFL 2k series was no more. EA's Madden is a good game mind you, but even this year's edition pails in comparison in some important respects to NFL 2k5 . That's why you can still find 2k5 fan boys trolling the boards spoiling for a fight with those Madden fanboys that they perceive to be representing "the man." But all that has changed now.
While still stripped of the rights to use the NFL and all of its licenses, 2k Sports has decided to go the "fake football league" route. They haven't really yet said much about what the game will entail, but if 2k5 is any indication we should be ready for a game created with impeccable presentation that closely approximates watching a real football game on TV. Whether or not this development will spur Madden to stop resting on its laurels is anybody's guess.