After 25 years, Konami has decided to withdraw its leading soccer simulation game PES or Pro Evolution Soccer. The company has decided to rename FIFA’s only real rival to eFootball. With its mammoth announcement, Konami also made other large and notable changes to its franchise. In an unprecedented and risky move to expose FIFA’s dominance, Konami has revealed its major changes to the community.
There has been a lot of debate over the years about the quality of the two games. While the strong bias towards FIFA lies because of its aesthetic elegance and animation, the rather smaller community of PES argues that they have better gameplay features. This may or may not be true, but one thing is certain: FIFA is clearly the dominant competitor. With massive sales every year, the competitive FIFA community is much larger than PES.
Every year PES releases its game before FIFA launches its franchise to gain a market advantage. But the lack of user base and aesthetic simplicity didn’t help their cause. MyClub, the FUT rival mode in PES, hasn’t gained the popularity of the EA Sports franchise. The lack of enough licensed teams in PES was also a major obstacle for PES. As a result, Konami has made a huge, if risky, leap in renaming its title eFootball. The new eFootball title will include changes that could potentially change the roadmap for the game.
THE MOST IMPORTANT CHANGES
The first and most notable change is that the franchise is free to play. Every year, similar to FIFA, the PES franchise had to be purchased in order to receive the updates for the next season. Konami has officially announced that eFootball players will not have to buy the game every year starting with the upcoming update. eFootball will be available to download completely free of charge every year.
#eFootball™ is on the way to changing the football game forever, and it doesn’t stop at launch.
As a developing platform, we will provide regular updates and upgrades to players. Including more modes in the future.
– eFootball (@play_eFootball) July 21, 2021
Konami has also announced that it will no longer provide DLC for the game. eFootball must be downloaded as it will only be available as a digital copy. For some users who don’t have a stable internet connection, this might not be good news. However, this follows the trend of most online gaming franchises, so it shouldn’t be too worrisome.
The other big change that is being introduced is the gameplay engine change. Konami has switched to the Unreal Engine to incorporate newer features and also to speed up and improve the design functions. According to Konami, the new engine will enable a new system called motion matching. This new system allows up to four times as many animations as the previous PES versions.
Free-to-play is just the beginning.
Rebuilt in Unreal® Engine, #eFootball™ offers advanced graphics and four times as many animations as last year thanks to “Motion Matching” technology.
Better still, this technology is available on ALL platforms, not just the next generation. https://t.co/5531iazNTu
– eFootball (@play_eFootball) July 21, 2021
According to the developers, eFootball will also be a cross-platform game. This is an important statement as FIFA has not implemented this change at any level. The brand new eFootball will be available on PlayStation5, PlayStation4, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, Windows 10 and PC Steam will be available. It will then be published on Android and iOS.
LICENSING AND GAMEPLAY CHANGES
Konami have announced that they will add Atalanta and Napoli as they have acquired the licenses for the two Italian clubs. eFootball will likely also include all of the licenses it has held so far in PES. The addition of new licensed teams should also attract new enthusiasts to the franchise.
Another big improvement to be expected is the graphics update. While we don’t have enough information on the quality of the improvement, some releases and the trailer point to an increased importance of gamer graphics and animation. The new detailed graphics in the Unreal Engine are thrilling the community and many can hardly wait for the official release.
We are proud to have you on board @neymarjr 🙌
– eFootball (@play_eFootball) July 20, 2021
The editors also promise to improve the 1v1 aspect of the game and make it much more meaningful by seeking expert advice from professional footballers. Adding improved graphics and movement with great gameplay should give them an edge in the years to come.
“We have created a one-to-one system that is incredibly exciting and, above all, realistic,” says the publisher.
With FIFA still dominating the room, eFootball seems like a risky but ambitious move by Konami to overtake its rivals. Many good additions and improvements are being implemented and this is how eFootball looks attractive to many. Since it is free to play, many casual FIFA fans could switch to the Konami Sim as well.