FIFA 20 has lost Juventus rights to PES 2020 in a blow to EA Sports' domination of the football video game market, with Konami's latest release having secured exclusive rights to the Serie A champions' name, crest, kits and stadium.
FIFA 20 will be forced to alter the name of Juventus – who featured prominently in the FIFA 19 installment of the series, helped at least in part by cover star Cristiano Ronaldo – to 'Piemonte Calcio'.
The deal represents something of a coup for Konami, which has struggled to keep pace with their long-time rivals EA Sports in recent times in terms of football licenses, as the popularity for the FIFA franchise growing considerably while PES continues to lag behind.
We are delighted to reveal our brand new EXCLUSIVE Partnership with #eFootballPES2020 and @officialpes!— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) July 16, 2019
Create some magic moments with the stars of our team in the ONLY football video game you can this year 🙌#JUVxPES https://t.co/l4TZC41oEp pic.twitter.com/98UApa5iNg
Last year the big news around FIFA 19's launch was the arrival of Champions League on the game, which had long been a competition that PES had exclusive rights to.
The good news for Bianconeri fans, however, is that all of the club's players will retain their real-world names rather than fictional ones of a similar nature that had been common with soccer video games in the past.
Ultimate Team players who have been loyal to the Old Lady in terms of sporting their kits, badge and hosting their matches at the Juventus Arena, though, will undoubtedly feel let down by the news.
It seems unlikely that Konami will mount a serious threat to the FIFA series in the future, however. EA Sports maintains a stranglehold on naming rights, but the Japanese video game publisher's sucker-punch sends a clear message that they will not lie down for their rivals.
Looking ahead, FUT players may find some solace in knowing that 'Piemonte Calcio' players will still be able to form strong chemistry bonds with other Serie A players and fellow countrymen, while they will also still be eligible for special upgrades through Team of the Week, Ones to Watch, Team of the Season and can still be used in Squad Building Challenges.
FIFA 20's Standard Edition will be available to play on September 27, 2019, while those purchasing the Champions or Ultimate Editions will be eligible for early access on September 24. The game is already available for pre-order.
PES 2020, meanwhile, will be released on September 10, 2019, with Barcelona stars adorning the cover due to having continued their own non-exclusive partnership with Konami.