Should Konami Release a Standalone Champions League Game?

/ 3 years ago

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For all of EA Sport’s might and money there is one thing in the world of football that they do not have their hands on: the Champions League. Fifa may have all the licences to the European leagues meaning Konami may have to make do with calling Liverpool Merseyside Red and Arsenal North London FC but it is PES, not Fifa, which has the rights to the biggest club football competition in the world.

There have been standalone Champions League games before, the last being the EA produced UEFA Champions League 2006-2007, so should Konami do the same?

The average audience figure for last year’s final – Real Madrid 4-1 Atletico Madrid – was in the region of 165 million. Expect that figure to be even greater this time around, especially if the final is a Real Madrid/Bayern Munich, the two favourites in the uefa competitions betting, showdown. From this viewpoint it seems savvy to bring out a tie-in game. Considering the legions of football fans from across the globe it seems highly unlikely that a Champions League game would not be profitable.

However, while Konami should certainly look to do more with the exclusive rights for the Champions League, creating a standalone game is not the way to go. Looking back in history you can see that it is a game that doesn’t exactly do brilliantly in the sales. A Champions League game would very much be like EA’s World Cup game; it would attract an audience but it would never be able to establish itself as a serious player.

The lack of licensing will once again come back to be the scourge of PES. Gamers don’t mind playing with fictional teams on a game as expansive as Pro Evo; all you need to do is just go and get lost in the Master League. But, with a Champions League game the team pool is going to be a lot slimmer and with Konami’s poor workings with both the Premier League and the Bundesliga it is a game that would be devoid of a huge amount of realism, something that football gamers are reluctant to lose.

Also, right now PES are trying to re-establish themselves as a genuine rival to Fifa. If they bring out a poor game then they can really detract from their brand name and once again set themselves up for a fall.

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By DSanchez17  – Champions League winner Gareth Bale

If one was a bird sitting on the shoulder of the CEO of Konami the message would be to utilise the Champions League rights but in a smart way. Bringing it out as a standalone game on mobile would be an extremely tactile approach. For one; the costs involved with manufacturing a mobile game are minimal, two; it can eat into and perhaps surpass the mobile downloads of EA’s FUT, and three; if Konami can attract people to their mobile game they will further their chances of attracting them to the console games.

The Champions League could be a money-spinner for Konami but it will never earn them anything as much as its costing them if they don’t market it in such way. They shouldn’t hide it away as a throwaway game mode on their consoles games but they shouldn’t try and pad it out enough to make it into a standalone game. They need to find a middle ground and that middle ground is the mobile.22

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