eSports & Gaming

Barcelona pen three-year Konami extension

Japanese game developer to help soccer club develop esports sector.

by Ed Dixon

Barcelona pen three-year Konami extension

Spanish soccer giants FC Barcelona and digital entertainment company Konami have renewed their global partnership agreement through 2023.

The announcement of the extended agreement coincides with the unveiling of one of Konami’s biggest title releases, the annual Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) series. The game will be renamed eFootball PES 2020 and will feature Barcelona’s captain and star player Lionel Messi on the front cover. The Argentine follows in the footsteps of team-mates Luis Suárez and Phillippe Coutinho who appeared on the previous two editions.

Furthermore, the game developer will be releasing a special Barcelona edition of the game at the club’s shop in its home stadium, the Camp Nou. Fans can also vote to decide on the cover.

The renewed arrangement also sees Konami become the club’s official esports soccer video gaming partner, with collaborations planned at future events. In April, Barcelona ventured further into the esports market by signing a team to compete in the Rocket League. It already had a team in eFootball.Pro, a PES league developed by Konami and first team star Gerard Piqué.

As well as teaming up for the release of eFootball PES 2020, Konami branding will appear on the inside and outside of the Camp Nou, with the company having access to Barcelona players for promotional purposes.

Josep Pont, the commercial lead on the Barcelona board, said: “Our relationship began three years ago and this new agreement as global partners is testament to our shared journey, with clear commitment to the quest for excellence and to such common values as effort, teamwork and respect. It also reinforces our commitment to connecting with fans all around through the esports universe.”

Jonas Lygaard, senior director brand and business development of Konami, added: “FC Barcelona has been a loyal and a trusted partner for our company for the last three years and we are thrilled to have them by our side as we launch our most ambitious title yet in the PES series – eFootball PES 2020. FC Barcelona shares our own ambition for eFootball and together, we shall take sport to new heights”.