Konami has said that removing PES 2019 from July's PlayStation Plus lineup at the last minute was Sony's decision.
PlayStation Plus subscribers were originally getting two games this month: PES 2019 and Sonic Mania. However, PES 2019 left the lineup at the last minute to make way for Quantic Dream's narrative adventure Detroit: Become Human. Neither Sony nor Konami gave any reason for this. Speaking to Eurogamer, Konami said this decision "was made by SIE" and that inquiries should be directed to them instead of Konami.
Eurogamer then went to Sony, who gave a statement to the site. Sony said it "decided to make [the decision to remove PES 2019] as a company". The company didn't elaborate or give any further reason why the decision might have been made. In a statement to GameSpot, European PES brand manager Lennart Bobzien said the decision came as a complete surprise. That's three statements from companies involved in the PS Plus switch and we're still no closer to understanding the reason.
Eurogamer believes the decision represents some sort of legal issue, possibly involving licensing rights in PES 2019. Konami's contract with Liverpool FC ended two days before the game disappeared from PS Plus. In addition, Konami recently announced it had signed a deal with Manchester United to license the team for the next PES game. Whether these developments would have any impact on Sony's decision to pull the game from PS Plus isn't clear. Sony is also working closely with EA on FIFA 20, which could explain its willingness to distance itself from PES.
You can download July's PlayStation Plus games right now if you're a subscriber. David Cage and Quantic Dream's Detroit: Become Human continues the studio's particular brand of narrative adventure gaming. Sonic Mania is a return to form for the little blue hedgehog.
How do you feel about PES 2019 being removed from the PS Plus lineup? Let us know in the comments below!