Why doesn't Pro Evolution Soccer have licensed teams?

Why doesn't Pro Evolution Soccer have licensed teams?


Decoding the Licensing Puzzle of Pro Evolution Soccer

Ever wondered why your beloved Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) doesn't feature all of your favourite teams? Well, strap yourselves in because you're in for a thrilling journey in the world of gaming licence complexities. This isn't about a simple lack of effort on behalf of the PES developers or them not knowing your favourite team (yes, they probably know them and, they like them as well). There's a larger picture to it, folks, and it involves legal intricacy, strategic manoeuvres and a good deal of moolah!

Digging into that Jadestone: What's a Gaming License Anyway?

Let's begin by understanding what a gaming license is. I'm sure some of you might already know this, while for others, it's all Greek and Latin. But don't worry, we'll walk this path together while having some fun chatting about our beloved game, PES. A license, in layperson’s term, is virtually a permit that sports leagues, clubs, or even players, give to video game developers to use their names, logos, and other relevant rights in their games. Sort of like how you would grant permission to someone to enter your house and then use your table lamp to read their book (Pardon my odd analogy there).

The Cash Baron: Underlying Economics of Sports Gaming Licensing

Money talks, you know. And when it comes to securing the license for popular sports teams, money practically roars! It's commercialism at its peak, as there are several parties that place their bids, and the highest bidder usually wins the license. Wait, there's another layer to this financial business. Enter the Exclusive License - a more restrictive type where if a game secures an exclusive license for a team, no other game can feature that exact team! Just like the exclusive rights to your favourite beach house - nobody else can rent it out if you have secured it first.

The FIFA Factor: The Competition and its Impact

If you're a dedicated PES player but you've dabbled in FIFA at some point, you might be aware of the wide-ranging licensing collection that FIFA boasts of. Guess we have Electronic Arts (EA) and their deep pockets to blame - or thank for that (depending on which side of the fence you're on). Well, that's reality folks, EA has made it a habit to buy up the majority of major football licensing rights, leaving relatively little for Konami (the guys behind PES) to work with. This is not to say Konami isn't holding their ground, they're cleverly navigating through EA's tactics.

PES's Stand: The Story of Their Persistence

You have to applaud Konami's spirit though. Despite the heavy financial warfare, they have managed to secure licensing rights for a select bunch of clubs like FC Barcelona, and Juventus. There's a small anecdote here - when PES bagged the exclusive rights for Juventus, FIFA had to rename the team to 'Piemonte Calcio' in their 2020 edition. And the PES community? Well, we were treated to celebratory memes all over social media, and that was indeed a moment of pride and a small victory for us.

Alternative Path: PES and its Community Option Files

But what about the unlicensed teams? There's a solution for that too! Konami has done a great job in supporting fan-made 'Option Files'. These are effectively fan-made patches that gamers can download and install to add all representations of their favourite unlicensed teams into the game. Sure, it's not as sleek or as convenient as having it all licensed officially, but it's a workable solution, and the PES community really brings out their passion and dedication through these Option Files. They're the heroes we need, but don't deserve – batpeople of PES!

Future Endeavours: Konami's Strategy Moving Forward

All this does not mean that Konami is giving up on gaining more licenses. In fact, they continue to steadily collect them for one-off leagues and teams. And with the next-gen consoles now in play, PES is striving to upgrade their game on multiple fronts. We might even witness a shift in strategy soon, who knows? But in the meantime, the dance of licenses continues. So folks, wear your jerseys, power up your consoles and let's dive into the beautiful game with PES, licensed teams or not!

Oh and remember, be it Ronaldo, Messi, Beckham, or Tim Cahill, when they net the ball, the exhilaration pumping through your veins is legit, license or no license.