Konami is still fighting the good fight when it comes to football video game licences - it's just nabbed the exclusive on Italian club Napoli.
The marketing partnership starts from next season, but Napoli becomes a genuine PES exclusive from the 2022/23 season, Konami said.
It's a similar deal to the one Konami signed for Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus, which forced rival EA Sports to come up with a fake name for the Old Lady in FIFA 21. So, expect EA Sports to have to come up with a fake name for Napoli in 2022's FIFA 23.
"From the 2022/23 football season, the eFootball PES series will be the only real-time football simulation game to include an authentic, fully-licensed recreation of Napoli," Konami said.
I doubt EA Sports is crying over the loss of Napoli. While The Blues are one of Serie A's top clubs, 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.