PES 2018 may be the last PES title with an official UCL game mode Image: Twitter
Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 2019 may not have the trademark UEFA Champions League or the Europa League game modes next year. Konami, the publishers of Pro Evolution Soccer and The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), jointly announced that the 10-year-old partnership between the two will end this June, after the final of the ongoing UEFA Champions League.
The officially licensed UEFA Champions League and EUROPA League game modes have been the selling point of PES titles ever since these first made an appearance in PES 2009 back in 2008. The end of the licensing agreement will be a big blow for the PES franchisee, which is already struggling to match up to EA Sports's cash-rich FIFA titles, which hold the majority of the licences for the top leagues around the globe.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events SA, in an interview with the official UEFA website, said, "Konami has been a strong licensing partner for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, with our competition brand being heavily featured within the video game and as part of the popular Konami-organised UEFA Champions League e-sports tournaments."
He added, "It has been a very cooperative and mutually beneficial partnership. UEFA would like to thank Konami for its tremendous commitment and support to UEFA club competitions for the last decade and we look forward to continuing to work with Konami in the sphere of UEFA national team football."
Jonas Lygaard, senior director of brand & business development for Konami Digital Entertainment, said, "The UEFA Champions League licence has given us a platform to create unique experiences and provide football fans from all over the world with an opportunity to enjoy this competition first-hand.This year, however, we will shift our focus to other areas. We will continue to explore alternative ways UEFA and Konami can continue to work together, as our relationship remains strong."
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