Konami’s licensing issues with its famed Pro Evolution Soccer franchise are no secret, but this latest revelation could yet prove to be the gaming giant’s biggest hurdle.
While the PES series has improved on the licensing front in past years, it still sits far beyond that of its market rival in EA Sports’ FIFA franchise, which features pretty much every major football league on the planet.
PES fans have had to make do with replica kits and player lookalikes, but the franchise has made huge inroads over the past few years.
Last year’s game, however, might prove to be an ironic reminder of just how bad the franchise has had it when it comes to licensing of football’s biggest names.
Diego Maradona, football superstar from Argentina and never one to shy away from the spotlight, has taken to Facebook to voice his disapproval of his likeness being used in PES 2017.
It seems as though someone at Konami forgot to send the Maradona camp the memo.
“I heard yesterday that the Japanese company Konami uses my image for its game PES 2017,” he said in a Facebook post. “Unfortunately, my lawyer Matias Morla will initiate the corresponding legal actions. I hope this is not another scam …”
It’s unknown how exactly Konami approaches player licensing, which can often times be more lucrative than the license for an entire team.
Multiple requests for comment to the publisher are as yet unanswered.
What’s ironic about this entire situation is that, despite the PES franchise’s fantastic overall quality as a sports gaming franchise, it’s often faced ridicule from gamers for lacking real licensing, players, and teams.
Konami has always said that it would rather dedicate resources to improve the game’s fundamentals, and the lack of licensing has never hurt the game’s marketability in Japan, where it’s one of gaming’s most popular franchises.
This could just be a case of Maradona signing away his likeness and not knowing about it. He features in the game as part of a legends pack, which also features the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo,Thierry Henry, Gary Lineker and Ronald Koeman.
The Myclub mode, which is akin to FIFA‘s Ultimate Team mode, allows players to unlock, purchase and sell legendary players, and match them up with other current and past players.