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Japan's top league sheds Pro Evolution Soccer exclusive to appear in FIFA 17

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Konami is no longer the home team

FIFA 17 will, for the first time in series history, feature Japan's top professional soccer league, yet another sign that Konami has lost interest in developing console video games.

Japan's J1 League (formally, the "Meiji Yasuda J1 League") and its 18 teams are all licensed to appear in FIFA 17 when it launches this September, EA Sports announced yesterday. Additionally, Suita City Football Stadium (pictured), the new home field for Gamba Osaka, will be a venue in the game.

For years, Pro Evolution Soccer and Konami controlled an exclusive license to Japanese soccer. It's the reason Japan's women's national team, the runners-up in 2015's World Cup and champions of 2011's, did not appear in FIFA 16 when women's soccer made its debut there. Japan's men's national teams have appeared in EA Sports games, but only in the World Cup editions of FIFA under the auspices of World Cup licensing. Japanese pros playing in Europe have appeared in the game, but until now, no professional Japan team.

The J1 clubs will be in all modes of the game, including their players and uniforms within the popular Ultimate Team mode. Here are all 18 sides:

  • Vegalta Sendai
  • Kashima Antlers
  • Urawa Reds
  • Omiya Ardija
  • Kashiwa Reysol
  • FC Tokyo
  • Kawasaki Frontale
  • Yokohama F. Marinos
  • Shonan Bellmare
  • Ventforet Kofu
  • Albirex Niigata
  • Júbilo Iwata
  • Nagoya Grampus
  • Gamba Osaka
  • Vissel Kobe
  • Sanfrecce Hiroshima
  • Avispa Fukuoka
  • Sagan Tosu

Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 is also launching on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One later this year, but it is the sole remaining console development project for Konami after the publisher wiped out franchises like Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid to focus on mobile, free-to-play and gambling initiatives.