Konami, a leading developer and publisher of video games, and Umbro International, the world's best known football brand, have today forged a strategic alliance with the intention of undertaking a series of initiatives around the next generation of Konami's award-winning International Superstar Soccer football games. Initially, the two companies will be working on in-game branding for the titles, the first of which will be available for the launch of PlayStation 2, together with joint promotions and marketing initiatives. Following the initial launch period, the alliance will enable the design teams at both companies to work together closely with the aim of producing the most exciting and lifelike football games to date. "It's a perfect match for us," explained Shay Boyd, marketing communications manager at Umbro International. "Konami is renowned for the accuracy and intensity of its football games whilst Umbro is totally dedicated to football and has been committed to producing world class products for the football fan and player since 1924. By combining Umbro's football product innovation with Konami's feel for the console version of the beautiful game, there is no reason why we can't push forward the boundaries to deliver new levels of realism for the ISS series across all gaming platforms." "Umbro, like Konami, is constantly striving to produce cutting edge products that we hope will give our new generation of games an edge," continued Konami of Europe President Kunio Neo. "Working with designers and developers who have to meet the demands of players will give us a greater insight into the look and feel of the game as we again attempt to set the bench mark for football sims."