Published on by lukezim 29 Comments Updated on
Having lost their Champions League and Europa League rights, Pro Evolution Soccer (aka PES) announced Wednesday afternoon that they had entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Russia's top domestic league, the Russian Premier League. As a result, the full league won't feature in EA's next full title release, "FIFA 19".
It remains to be seen if big clubs like FC Zenit Saint Petersburg will still be able to enter into their own club specific agreements with EA for the title.
The RPL's been a staple in recent FIFA's (particularly Ultimate Team), with its best and brightest usually headlining the Teams of the Week during the offseasons of the "Big 5" domestic leagues in Europe.
Without the likes of Hulk, a long time FUT favorite, who departed for China, the league hasn't showcased in quite as many squads as we'd seen in recent years. Still, the league included the Russian national team's standouts and players like Dutch midfielder Quincy Promes regularly became almost cult heroes for their Ultimate Team special items.
Though few are likely to switch titles outright as a result of a licensing change like this one, it's always a bummer to lose content as opposed to gaining it. Many would probably very willingly take a UCL/EL for Russian League swap, but it's still possible we see some additional licensing agreements announced for next fall's game yet.