Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer has long been touted by fans and critics alike as the superior gaming experience to EA’s FIFA, but has always trailed behind the latter series when it comes to obtaining genuine licences. Now, it appears that Konami is further lacking in this department, as they recently announced on their website that German soccer club, Borussia Dortmund, has prematurely terminated their agreement to use the team’s assets in the forthcoming Pro Evolution Soccer 2019.
As the announcement notes, Borussia Dortmund had initially given Konami free reign to use their licence until 2020. However, the premature termination means that Konami will be unable to use the team’s “logos, players, stadiums and other features” in the game, despite the fact they featured some of these elements from the North Rhine Westphalia-based team in the promotional material. At this stage, it is currently unknown as to the reasons behind the early withdrawal.
Konami had signed an Official Partnership contract with Borussia Dortmund back in 2016, prior to the release of Pro Evo 2016. This meant that the team’s assets were used in the game, including the aforementioned logos and “downloadable data” of their home stadium, Signal Iduna Park. The club is notorious for winning 1 UEFA Champions League and 8 German championships. The team is best known for the superstars Marco Reus, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Shinji Kagawa drawing in over an average of 80,000 audiences with many enthusiastic fans.
This news follows on from April 2018, when it was announced that Konami had lost the license to the UEFA (The Union of European Football Associations) and would therefore not be able to include its much-lauded digital recreations of the league in future titles – after having done so for ten years.
Pro Evo 2019 will be released on Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on August 28th in North America and August 30th in Europe.