Konami pens exclusive rights on SCC Napoli in their future games (eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer series), which leaves FIFA with one less licenced Serie A team on the roster.
Konami have announced that the company has signed a long-term partnership agreement with SSC Napoli, the top-tier Italian football club.
The “Official Football Videogame Partnership” will commence with the start of the 2021/22 football season, providing numerous marketing rights.
Starting from the 2022/23 football season, the eFootball PES series will be the only real-time football simulation game to include an authentic, fully licenced recreation of Napoli.
What this means is that the Serie A team will not be licenced in the EA Sports FIFA series, just like Juventus (called Piemonte Calcio in FIFA 21).
When it comes to such deals, gamers turn out to be the biggest losers in the end. Licensing in sports games has always been a hot topic, and Konami has skillfully fought an industry giant (EA) when it comes to licensing, by allowing players to import club kits and badges, change names, etc.
A couple of years ago, they started throwing jabs at the FIFA series with exclusive partnership deals with big clubs, or stadiums. They also got hit hard when they lost their exclusive rights for the UEFA Champions League, which has been licenced only in FIFA games since two years ago.
We hope that one day we will be able to play both FIFA and PES and that both games will have all the licences because we know that neither will be perfect ever unless someone combines the best of both worlds into a new package.
Maybe if 2K Sports gets involved in football?
However, in the next few months, we expect official announcements for this year's editions of virtual football simulations from both camps, and we are most looking forward to seeing what Konami is preparing for our next-gen consoles because they took a year off when they released Season Update 2021 instead of the new PES title.