FIFA 19 may see the return of the Champions League as the current deal between UEFA and Konami has expired.
The announcement was made in a recent press release by the company, confirming the partnership came to an end after a mutual understanding.
“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’,” said Marketing director of UEFA events Guy-Laurent Epstein.
“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.”
The news now opens the door for EA Sports to bid for the licence for FIFA 19.
EA’s title already owns the rights to use the Premier League, La Liga and many other leagues, but gamers have long been hoping the Champions League (called the Champions Cup in the game) makes a return.
FIFA has a much larger user base than Konami’s title – with millions of gamers around the world.
This, coupled with EA driving the title into mainstream esports – and the upcoming FIFA eWorld Cup – may make the American company an attractive partner for UEFA.
Konami and UEFA had enjoyed a close relationship since the original agreement was signed in 2009.
The last deal allowed Konami to use all iconography and presentation elements associated with the competitions exclusively within the PES series.
At the time of signing the deal, Guy Laurent-Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events SA, commented: “We are very pleased to continue and extend our working partnership with Konami.
“This new cycle provides an opportunity to build an even closer working relationship, allowing us to activate it in new and exciting ways, and to engage with our mutual fans around the world.
“We are delighted that future iterations of the series will continue to feature the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, as we also look forward to extending other areas of cooperation.”
Watch this space.