UEFA Champions League video games
The UEFA Champions League video game license has been used by four different companies, with a surprising irregularity, given the competitions' fan-base and popularity. Debuted in 1996, the series has only had five games published so far, and after being in the hands of Krisalis Software, Silicon Dreams Studio and Konami, the license now lies in the hands of EA.
Krisalis Software had a strong history of football video games in the past, and inclusively released European Club Soccer, a game that simulated the old knockout format in 1992. With the official branding, Krisalis worked on a 3D engine, fitted with the Tacti-grid and gameplay in the line of their older games. It had all 16 teams present in the 1996/1997 Champions League with the actual groups, plus national teams. Only one title was produced, distributed by Philips Media.
Silicon Dreams (1998–2002)
With Silicon Dreams Studio, who also developed the World League Soccer series, Champions League had four titles, 98–99, Season 1999–2000, Season 2000–2001 and 2001–2002 released, aimed mostly at the PlayStation, but PC releases existed for the games. It replaced the national teams with finalists of all competitions since 1960, also including scenarios (in 98–99, with fake settings, in 1999–2000, based on the previous finals, including the 1999 final last minutes). The first two games were published by Eidos Interactive, whilst the last two were published by Take-Two Interactive.
EA Sports (2004–2007, 2018-)
In November 2004, Electronic Arts announced a brand-new licensing deal and further development of the game, which was published before the second round of the 2004–05 competition started. It used the same FIFA engine, and was now the fourth licensed football title EA has in its catalogue.
UEFA Champions League 2004–2005 was released in early 2005 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and Windows and had licenses to many leagues in Europe, stadiums including Stamford Bridge and Anfield and also licenses to the players for the clubs. Clive Tyldesley and Andy Gray did the commentary for the game and the graphics and gameplay were taken from FIFA Football 2005, released in 2004. A career mode was made into the game where a player had to win the Champions League with various scenarios. EA Sports Talk Radio, a feature previously featured in games such as Madden NFL 2005, was incorporated into the career mode, and was presented by Patrick Kinghorn and ex-footballer Tony Cascarino. It was also the only UEFA-based video game to be released for the GameCube.
UEFA Champions League 2006–2007 was released by EA Sports on 23 March 2007. There are four versions of the game, one for the PS2, one for the PSP, one for the PC and one for the Xbox 360. The game modes differ among PS2, PSP and 360. The PSP, PS2 and PC versions were developed by HB Studios while the Xbox 360 version was developed by EA Canada.
The UEFA Champions League will appear in FIFA 19 as EA secured the license after the deal between Konami and UEFA expired. The tournament will be available as a standalone tournament mode, in The Journey, Career Mode and in FIFA Ultimate Team related content, with Derek Rae and Lee Dixon calling the action.
On 9 November 2008, Konami officially released the news that they had secured a four-year deal for the rights of the Champions League starting with Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 and ending with Pro Evolution Soccer 2012. The deal allowed Konami to use the details of the UEFA Champions League in a separate game mode within the game,
In 2012, Konami has had extended the deal for 1 more year to feature the UEFA Champions League again within Pro Evolution Soccer 2013.
In August 2013, Konami confirmed that PES 2015 will feature UEFA Champions League.
- Alessio Balbi (13 February 2005). "Champions League for everybody and Donkey Kong's return". repubblica.it (in Italian).
- UEFA Champions League A 4 year deal for PES Archived 2008-09-15 at the Wayback Machine.
- UEFA Champions League License Extended 1 More Year
- "Konami and UEFA Announce Three-Year Champions League License Renewal." PESEdit Blog. 11 June 2015. Web. 15 July 2015. <https://web.archive.org/web/20150715092341/http://www.peseditblog.com/2015/06/konami-and-uefa-announce-three-year-champions-league-license-renewal.html>.
- "KONAMI and UEFA Announce New Three-year Deal as PES Series Retains Exclusive Rights to Europe’s Greatest Club Football Competitions." Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. Konami Corporation, 11 June 2015. Web. 15 July 2015. <https://web.archive.org/web/20150715093115/https://www.konami.com/news/konami-and-uefa-announce-new-three-year-deal-as-pes-series-retains-exclusive-rights-to-europes-greatest-club-football-competitions/>.
- "KONAMI and UEFA Announce New Three-year Deal." UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations, 11 June 2015. Web. 15 July 2015. <https://web.archive.org/web/20150715093121/http://www.uefa.org/about-uefa/administration/marketing/news/newsid=2255917.html>.