Konami To End 10-Year Partnership With UEFA Champions League

By Andy Mills,
In lieu of competitor EA snapping up pretty much every license under the sun for the FIFA series, Konami has been snapping up licenses for individual clubs in recent years. One competition for which they've had the license is arguably one of the biggest: the UEFA Champions League. Unfortunately for Konami, that decade-long partnership is set to end after this year's final in Kyiv, UEFA has revealed.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2018

What may seem slightly odd is that this seems to be more a decision on Konami's end, as opposed to UEFA, at least if this statement from Konami's senior director of brand and business development Jonas Lygaard is anything to go by.

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 into other areas. We will continue to explore alternative ways UEFA and Konami can continue to work together, as our relationship remains strong.
Meanwhile Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events, had this to say about the split.

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.

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.
If we had to guess, this split means you can probably expect to hear the famous Champions League theme in competitor FIFA sooner rather than later. However, perhaps realising they are never going to compete with EA on the authenticity front, could this shift of focus to other areas be the correct move to bring Pro Evolution Soccer back?
Andy Mills
Written by Andy Mills
Just one of the fine Newshounds on TrueAchievements. An achievement hunter, and a lover of all kinds of games.