Konami has secured a genuine exclusive on Atalanta from next season, forcing EA to come up with a fake name, badge and kits for the Italian club.
Konami said it had signed a long-term deal with Atalanta, who finished the season in third place, and it starts with PES 2022. The announcement trailer is below:
Konami is going hard on Serie A, and has signed similar deals for Roma, Napoli, and most significant of all, Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus, which forced rival EA Sports to come up with a fake name for the Old Lady in FIFA 20.
As with the loss of Napoli, I doubt EA Sports is crying over the loss of Atalanta - despite the club establishing itself in recent seasons as one of Italy's best. EA Sports still enjoys a vice-like grip on the majority of the world's biggest football teams and leagues. The Premier League, for example, remains authentically reproduced in the FIFA games. But at least Konami is still snapping at EA's heels.
Konami has yet to announce this year's PES game, but as I wrote in August, PES 2022 is under pressure to deliver after the series effectively took a year off last year in order to make a splash on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S.
So, what fake name do we think EA will pick for Atalanta? How about the Boys from Bergamo? Nah, probably not.