Pro Evolution Soccer is in for an overhaul — the largest since its inception. Konami introduced Wednesday that its soccer simulation title is being rechristened merely as eFootball, after a few years carrying the unwieldy title “eFootball PES.” But extra importantly, eFootball will probably be a free-to-play title, providing cross-platform play submit launch in every single place. eFootball will launch this autumn on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Windows 10 and Steam for PCs, with Android and iOS variations to comply with quickly after. Crossplay on cellular would require an exterior controller. A dwell service free-to-play providing is an attention-grabbing response to the previous mannequin of annual paid releases, one which’s nonetheless in use by its largest rival, EA Sports’ FIFA.
“We started planning this move roughly two years ago to coincide with the console generation transition and changes in the market environment,” eFootball sequence producer Seitaro Kimura informed IGN. “I believe that we have already proven that this structure can be successful on mobile. By applying the same model across all platforms, we hope that more football fans will be able to play this game on consoles as well.” While eFootball PES had been free on cellular units, Konami had additionally trialled this technique on consoles and PC up to now couple of years with eFootball PES Lite, a downsized free-to-play model of the primary entry. Now, it is going all in.
Live service video games — together with the likes of Fortnite, Apex Legends, GTA Online, or Call of Duty: Warzone — are raking in massive cash, and Konami is borrowing a leaf out of their playbook, hoping to do the identical with lots of of hundreds of thousands of soccer fanatics worldwide. The free-to-play facet ought to theoretically entice extra avid gamers to eFootball, however it stays to be seen if it might probably draw back a few of the crowd from EA Sports, whose upcoming iteration FIFA 22 will proceed to be a paid-upfront expertise (albeit with predatory microtransactions which have generated a lot criticism).
As is the case with any dwell service sport, eFootball will see new content material and sport modes added over time. While Konami is not speaking about any modes, it did say that native offline matches will probably be accessible without cost at launch, that includes its associate golf equipment corresponding to FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, and Manchester United, amongst others. But on high of that, Konami will promote sure sport modes as elective DLC sooner or later — that is going to fork the participant base, and therefore I’m curious to see how this may fare. Konami has additionally revealed a roadmap for the primary few months, that features crossplay rollout, Team Building Mode, Online Leagues, a Match Pass system, and cellular controller help.
Designed with a customized soccer engine that uses Unreal Engine 4 as the bottom, Konami introduced on Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué as growth advisors for offensive and defensive gameplay, respectively, on eFootball. Additionally, Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. function world ambassadors, which is to say they’ll grace the sport’s splash screens and advertising and marketing supplies. The new engine permits for “Motion Matching” that converts participant actions right into a sequence of animations — 4 instances as many as earlier than — and picks probably the most correct one in real-time. Improved ball management makes use of R2/RT set off buttons to determine contact power, with defenders capable of jostle for possession because of “Match-up” and “Physical Defending.”
Details are pending on many fronts, together with whether or not eFootball will probably be an always-online title, what sort of offline sport modes gamers can count on, and different associate golf equipment and licensing preparations. Konami mentioned it is going to tackle these within the coming weeks and months.
“Starting with the strong foundations of Unreal Engine, which has allowed us to massively overhaul player expression, we’ve made a number of modifications to virtually create a new football game engine that will power eFootball for years to come,” Kimura mentioned in a ready assertion. “With the added power of new-generation consoles and by working closely with elite footballers, eFootball delivers our most tense and realistic gameplay to date. We’ll share specific gameplay details next month, so stay tuned.”