Developer Konami has announced that the licensing agreements with Serie A soccer teams AC Milan and Inter Milan will not be renewed.
As Konami explains in a press release, the licensing loss will not affect the most recent version of eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020, which launched back in Sept. 2019.
Konami notes that the news will not affect acquired myClub players; they will remain playable in-game as has been the case since release. Konami will presumably remove the two sides in the upcoming eFootball PES 2021, expected this September.
Although we’ve yet to hear this officially, it’s likely that perennial arch-rival FIFA, published by EA, has secured the AC Milan and Inter Milan licenses for the upcoming FIFA 2021.
A tussle to secure contracts with the sport’s most prominent teams has become an annual fixture. Last year, Konami stuck somewhat of a coup by landing a deal with Serie A side Juventus, and by extension, star player, Cristiano Ronaldo.
While EA’s FIFA franchise boasts more sales and brand recognition, fans and critics widely regard Konami’s PES as the superior of the two for a better mechanical portrayal of the beautiful game in video game format. EA has recorded net revenue of $1.49 billion for Ultimate Team in 2020 to date, the majority attributed to FIFA 21, yet review scores fall in PES’s favor with each successive year.
The acquisition of AC Milan and Inter Milan will aid in attracting even more players to the FIFA franchise, which has sold over 260 million copies since the first entry launched in 1993. There’s little to suggest FIFA won’t retain its title as the boring juggernaut of the ultra-exclusive video game soccer genre.