Fans of German Bundesliga champions FC Bayern München will be happy to know that their team is set to remain a prominent part of eFootball for the foreseeable future, as Konami and Bayern Munich announce a multi-year extension to their eFootball partnership. The deal, which began in July 2019, sees the club featuring as one of the few fully-licensed partners in the sports game, alongside other major footballing franchises including Barcelona, Arsenal, Juventus, and Manchester United.
Konami’s European president Naoki Morita says, “To have been partners during a period where they have won multiple titles and become champions of Europe has been fantastic,” referencing Bayern’s ten-year consecutive foothold as champions of Germany’s premier football league, the Bundesliga. FC Bayern’s Andreas Jung adds, “The partnership with Konami is of great importance to us because this market is booming and is particularly popular with the young fans.”
This positivity, however, has not stopped eFootball 2022 from being one of the most critically and commercially panned football titles, becoming the worst-reviewed game on Steam at its launch. The reception to its first major update in April was slightly better, with fans calling it a step in the right direction, but responses to the new partnership announcement on Twitter are mostly clamouring for fixes and improvements to the game itself.
It’ll be interesting to see whether this has a knock-on effect on EA’s footballing series, which recently announced that it is dropping the FIFA licence and will become ‘EA Sports FC’ moving forward. In the past few years, FIFA has still been able to include the clubs featured as Konami partners themselves, but several of the partnered teams’ iconic stadiums were absent from EA’s game. Along with Bayern’s Allianz Arena, Barcelona’s Camp Nou and Juventus’s Allianz Stadium are all missing from FIFA 22.
This announcement notes that eFootball is “the only football match simulation game with the inclusion of the Allianz Arena,” suggesting that this agreement will continue to be exclusive. Time will tell, then, whether this impacts EA’s title more directly post-FIFA breakup.
If nothing else, this announcement suggests a commitment to at least several more years of support for the series, the future of which has long been in question as Konami increasingly steps away from publishing new video games. If neither of the major players tickles your footballing fancy, perhaps take a look at the best football games on PC for some of our favourite alternative titles that might do the trick.