There will be no NFL2K4. At least, no game will release under that name.
Instead, the game that would’ve been called NFL2K4 will be known as ESPN NFL Football.
The funny thing is that I predicted this many months ago. Or at least suggested it. The NFL2K name has no marketing power. The ESPN license does. And since NFL2K3 was disappointing saleswise (not quality wise), it’s not surprising to see Sega capitalize on the ESPN license.
The only danger is that someone (Acclaim?) released some horrible football games years ago under the ESPN license. But I think the quality will shine through.
It gets more interesting, though. ESPN NFL Football will have a first-person (!!!) passing mode. I think this will be very interesting, though it remains to be seen how it will work. I have been dreaming of a game to try this, although I never had a good image of how it would work well. It remains to be seen. Visual Concepts has massive cojones to give this a shot - let’s see if they pull it off.