Bayern Munich has just presented Japanese video game company Konami as their new sponsor Thursday evening (cf. Bild). Konami is best known for their video games including Metal Gear, Silent Hill and Pro Evolution Soccer. Bayern’s exclusive agreement with Electronic Arts, manufacturer of the FIFA game series and Konami’s main competitor, will not go any further.
We are happy to reveal our new Partnership with #eFootballPES2020 and @officialpes❗— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) July 11, 2019
Get the full #FCBayern experience come September 10th with authentic kits, full 3D scanned players and our beautiful home, the Allianz Arena. #FCBAYERNxPES pic.twitter.com/fXxsXPD7p0
What does this mean? Firstly, Bayern fans won’t see any Bayern players on the cover of the next edition of EA’s FIFA. Also, as advertised above, Bayern Munich will appear in the next edition of Pro Evolution Soccer 2020. Konami, which has struggled to obtain sufficient licenses, was unable to include Bayern Munich in Pro Evolution Soccer 2019.
In recent years, FIFA has been unquestionably the more popular football game, as they have successfully acquired more and more licenses, while PES fell quickly behind. That decline only accelerated after FIFA bought the Champions League and Europa League licenses last year. But now perhaps the tide is turning.
As a guy who loves to play football video games, I am thrilled that Bayern has signed Konami as a new sponsor. Electronic Arts may be a bigger company than Konami, and one of the main reasons they have become more popular this decade is due to their ability to get more licensing. But I would argue that this domination in the sports gaming market is a negative thing.
Since FIFA 13 came out, there has been a lack of quality in the FIFA series. Although fans have shown their discontent, EA has largely ignored their complaints. PES, in contrast, has made significant changes to its editions since PES 2014 by listening to their dedicated supporters. I enjoyed PES 2019 a whole lot more than I enjoyed FIFA 19, even though you were not able to play as Bayern Munich in the PES edition.
That is why I am pleased about the news. One thing, however, that has not been confirmed is that the Allianz Arena might be excluded from the upcoming FIFA game. Last year, Konami started a partnership with FC Barcelona and as a result, FIFA lost the licensing of the Camp Nou stadium. For the upcoming edition, Konami has signed a deal with both Manchester United and Bayern; hence FIFA might lose their licensing for these two iconic football stadiums.