Take-Two Interactive will pay the NBA and the NBAPA up to $1.1 Billion – more than twice the value of the expiring deal – over the next 7 years, for the rights to use team logos and player likeness’ in its popular 2K game.
Video game licensing rights are calculated based on a percentage of product sales – typically 10%-15% – and NBA2K posted a franchise record 10 million sales in 2018, so Take-Two’s rising costs are a product of the title’s success more than anything else.
Take-Two is reportedly paying on the high side, which make sense when you consider that the league held all of the leverage in negotiations; without NBA trademarks and an association with the league’s players they don’t have a basketball gaming business. (CUT)
NBA2K, which was first released in 1999, has managed to remain relevant in pop-culture for 20 years because of the increase in young fans watching the NBA – the growth of the league’s young male demographic has given a boost to the game.
The NBA’s also experienced tremendous international growth over that time, which has also helped to grow the potential gamer pool.