Konami, the Japanese developers behind the Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) video game, have been threatened with legal action from Diego Maradona. The footballer has accused developers of using his likeness without his permission when creating an online avatar in their latest instalment, PES 2017.
Maradona has appeared in previous versions of the game, but this is the first time that the developers have used the correct spelling of his name. In the past Maradona has featured in the game but under different names, such as "Malgani", in order to get around potential licencing issues.
The PES game itself features mainly unlicensed teams with different names from the actual football teams upon which they are based.
In a post on his official Facebook page, Maradona announced that his lawyer would be initiating legal proceedings given Konami's use of his likeness without the footballer's permission, down to his iconic mass of black hair. Maradona also included a screenshot of the online avatar, which is the highest rated player in the game per the internal ranking system.
Maradona has been successful in the past with legal action against gaming companies. However, Konami's case may not be so dire after it was reported that back in 2016 the company signed a deal with Barcelona which entitled the developer to use the club's legends, which includes Maradona. It is not yet known how Konami will respond to the allegations.
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