So what does this mean for the old PES licences - will the likes of Juventus and Barcelona continue.
Latest - Only a few clubs at launch
Only a few clubs will be available via "Local Match" at launch for eFootball - which will essentially go live in Demo form.
The nine clubs confirmed so far are:
- Bayern Munich
- Manchester United
- Sao Paulo
- River Plate
Current eFootball licensed clubs
As we understand, the partnerships in place between Konami and certain clubs for PES 2022 will remain in place for the introduction of eFootball.
Konami has shown that Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester United, Arsenal, Corinthians, Flamengo, Sao Paulo and River Plate will all feature when the game launches.
We know that Italian clubs Napoli and Atalanta have also signed on with Konami in recent months.
PES 2021 saw licences for Schalke, Roma, Lazio, Celtic, Rangers, Zenit, but it remains to be seen if they will return for eFootball.
PES 2021 Partner Clubs
- Barcelona (stadium exclusive)
- Bayern Munich (stadium exclusive)
- Juventus (exclusive)
- Manchester United
- Roma (exclusive)
- Lazio (stadium exclusive)
- Napoli (*NEW*)
- Celtic (stadium exclusive)
- Rangers (stadium exclusive)
- Zenit St Petersburg (exclusive)
- River Plate (exclusive)
- Boca Juniors (exclusive)
Neymar becomes eFootball ambassador
The official eFootball Twitter account, has announced that Neymar Jr has become the newest ambassador for the eFootball series.
This also means that Konami has secured the full rights to Neymar Jr in eFootball.
EA Sports has secured a partnership with Paris Saint Germain until 2024, which means that they will have the full license to the players, kits, badges, team name etc.
However, with Neymar becoming an eFootball ambassador, we could see Konami change its Cover Star strategy.
We believe that Neymar is now the front-runner to become the eFootball Cover Star, given the global scale of his fame, along with the exciting style of football he plays for European giants PSG.
Atalanta sign exclusive partnership
Konami announced it has signed a long-term, exclusive partnership agreement with Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio (Atalanta), the top-tier Italian football club that recently finished the season in third place.
As “Official Video Game Partner”, Konami has secured exclusive rights to the use of the Atalanta license, including team name, crest and kits, within real-time football simulation games, starting with the 2021/22 football season.
This exclusive deal means that FIFA 22 will no longer include the official Atalanta team name, crest, kits and player names.
Napoli join the party
Napoli joins the franchise as an official partner, in a licensing agreement that will become exclusive for the 2022/23 season.
Konami has also secured naming rights for Napoli's training centre, which will feature a brand new gaming area for players and guests.
Potential new Club licences for eFootball
This is where things get tricky, with EA Sports and FIFA having a lot of clubs and leagues tied up already.
If Konami is looking to bring brand new clubs to the franchise, it looks as if the best bet could be another German club - especially as there wasn't even a German league on PES 2021.
Borussia Dortmund would be the tempting one, but they have a close relationship with EA, and have burned bridges with Konami after dropping out of PES 2019 at the last minute.
Therefore, could Konami do a smart deal with Red Bull, that would get them the licences to their various clubs - RB Leipzig, RB Salzburg and possibly event New York Red Bulls.
Trying to get one of their partner clubs on a more exclusive basis is another route they could go down, with Celtic, Rangers, Monaco and Lazio all possible options.
Leagues & Tournaments
The clubs are actually just the crowning glory when it comes to licences, as it's not worth a lot unless you have the league to go with it.
On an international level, Konami does brilliantly, currently holding the EURO 2020 licence - but it remains to be seen if the summer tournament will make it on to eFootball.
Whether they could replace it with the Champions League and Europa League is a firm no, after EA signed a multi-year extension with UEFA earlier this year.
PES 2021 Licensed Leagues & Tournaments
- UEFA Euro 2020
- Italian Serie A (except for AC Milan and Inter Milan)
- Italian Serie B (except for Brescia) (exclusive)
- French Ligue 1
- French Ligue 2
- Portuguese Liga NOS
- Turkish Super Lig
- Russian Premier League (exclusive)
- Dutch Eredivisie
- Belgian Pro League
- Danish Superliga
- Scottish Premiership
- Swiss Super League
- Brazilian Brasileirao Assai (except for Palmeiras) (exclusive)
- Brazilian Brasilieirao Serie B (exclusive)
- Argentine Primera Division
- Chilean Primera Division (exclusive)
- Colombian Categoría Primera A (exclusive)
- Chinese Super League
- Thai League (exclusive)
- AFC Champions League (exclusive)
Potential new League licences for eFootball
Perhaps what's even tougher is for Konami to pick up a new league licence for eFootball.
With the Bundesliga, Premier League, La Liga and the MLS all tied up with EA - Konami has limited options.
France's Ligue 1 seems to play both sides, with the division licenced on both FIFA and eFootball - so perhaps a licencing war could be sparked.
The Scottish Championship seems to be of declining interest to EA, and although not a massive league, it would ruffle enough feathers if Konami could secure it exclusively.
Watch this space, however, and we will update this page as soon as any new clubs, licences or stadiums are announced.