After the falling out Konami had with its star developer Hideo Kojima over borderline abusive working conditions, the Japanese entertainment company continues to attract controversy, and this time, a lawsuit. Retired Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona has announced on a Facebook post a couple days ago that he plans to take legal action against Konami for allegedly using his likeness without permission in Pro Evolution Soccer 2017. On his Facebook post, Maradona says:
I heard yesterday that the Japanese company Konami uses my image for its game PES 2017. Unfortunately, my lawyer Matias Morla will initiate the corresponding legal actions. I hope this is not another scam…
A couple days and a thousand shares on Facebook later, Konami’s Tokyo headquarters issued this official response:
At this time, there have been news that in Winning Eleven 2017 (international title: PES 2017 Pro Evolution Soccer) there is one player that is being used without permission; however, our company is using [this player] appropriately, with the basis of the license within the contract.
To this, Maradona once again responded on Facebook earlier today, claiming that Konami apparently licensed his image from a Barcelona football league, and stating that contract holds no legal ground since Barcelona shouldn’t hold any rights to Argentinian athletes. He finishes his statement by saying he will continue to seek legal action.
Maradona appears in the Pro Evolution Soccer 2017’s myClub mode as a “Legends” character, alongside other legendary soccer stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. This isn’t the first time Maradona has unknowingly given his likeness to a video game, as older PES games have used his likeness with the legal loophole of giving the character a fictional name, a tactic Konami decided not to use for their latest installment in their sports game franchise.