Evert ten Napel, a Dutch soccer commentator who has lent his services to EA for FIFA games for awhile now, has let the cat out of the bag that the publisher and its massively popular soccer sim have picked up the rights to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, which will be in effect starting with this year's installment, FIFA 19.
The news comes specifically from the finals of the Dutch FIFA eSports tournament, and is no surprise after last month's announcement that Konami had lost said rights.
"For about six or seven days a year, I record updated lines [for the game] in the studio in Utrecht with Youri Mulder," said Napel. “In 2019 as well, the game will get even better, because they've added the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. I'm almost finished with the 2019 version, which will then go to the test center. [In the test center] some very good players will check everything and after that, it will go to the stores in October. And then all those weirdos will be standing in line again at midnight."
For those that missed it: last month Konmai announced that following this year's Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Ukraine, its partnership with UEFA will come to an end.
Konami notably held the licensing rights to the two European competitions for 10 years. It was argueably one of the last few things PES offered that FIFA couldn't.
In addition to increased authenticity, licensing rights to the Champions League and Europa League will allow EA to add tournament specific cards to Ultimate Team and add weekly match-ups. It's a big get for EA and FIFA, which continue to take strives towards monopolizing the soccer sim market, like EA has done with other sports sims.
At the moment, none of this is official, so reserve perhaps a pinch of salt, however, Napel would be one to know, and it makes sense that EA gobbled the rights up after Konami let them go for undisclosed reasons.0comments
FIFA 19 has yet to be officially announced, but with E3 2018 around the corner, a reveal should be coming soon.