Konami has just announced that eFootball PES now has the exclusive rights to present Atalanta, one of the main clubs in the Italian Serie A and a good part of one of the biggest soccer leagues in the world. Konami has explained to MRT it has taken a new course to win over fans and close the gap with FIFA.
For years, FIFA by Electronic Arts has taken over the licenses required to create a large set of leagues. In comparison, PES has struggled to bring many teams and players to its video game, even has had to make up the name of some leagues.
Even winning some licenses, FIFA began to gain an advantage and offer an experience closer to reality. Now, Jonas Lygaard, Konami’s Senior Director, has promised that Pro Evolution Soccer “would shift focus to other areas. “This new trend started in 2019, when PES announced that it had acquired the license exclusively from Juventus, one of the most successful Italian (and world) clubs.
While EA Sports could continue to use the names and images of Juventus players in FIFA, it was forced to use a different club logo and even change the club name entirely at the ficticio Piemonte Calcio.
A new strategic approach to Pro Evolution Soccer
Following this trend, PES has achieved Similar exclusive licenses for Roma and will add Atalanta to PES 2022 team roster. All of them belong to Serie A of the Italian league and according to David Monk, director of licensing and football activation at Konami, it is no coincidence: “Yes, this is an intentional strategic approach, but it is only followed when both the club and Konami believe it provides a mutually beneficial deal.“.
“It is also true that these types of associations usually represent a competitive advantage for eFootball PES. Therefore, naturally, with any exclusive license the result is usually an increase in the number of club fans who play eFootball PES, which is because those fans gain access to content that cannot be offered in other games.“.
“We are always exploring how to improve the list of partner clubs, not only in Italy, but in all markets“, responde Monk. “The way I see it, clubs see significant value in partnering with Konami because of our individual approach to each other. As we grow with our partners, we can continue to provide that extra care“.
In summary: Konami’s strategy will not offer the large number of clubs that FIFA does in the long run, but it will offer a more personal treatment and dedication to their licenses.. This could tip the balance of many fans towards PES instead of FIFA. While being realistic, these small moves by Konami shouldn’t be too big a setback for FIFA in terms of numbers. Time will tell what happens with this licensing battle between the two soccer video game giants.