Pro Evolution Soccer is in for an overhaul — the most important 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 publish launch all over the 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 A stay service free-to-play providing is an attention-grabbing response to the outdated mannequin of annual paid releases, one which’s nonetheless in use by its largest rival, EA Sports’ FIFA.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 instructed 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 previously couple of years with eFootball PES Lite, a downsized free-to-play model of the principle 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 huge 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 fans worldwide. The free-to-play facet ought to theoretically appeal to extra players to eFootball, but it surely stays to be seen if it may 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 stay 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 obtainable without spending a dime at launch, that includes its accomplice golf equipment equivalent to FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, and Manchester United, amongst others. But on prime of that, Konami will promote sure sport modes as non-obligatory DLC sooner or later — that is going to fork the participant base, and therefore I’m curious to see how it will 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 makes use of Unreal Engine Four 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 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 resolve contact energy, with defenders in a position to jostle for possession due to “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 accomplice golf equipment and licensing preparations. Konami stated it can 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 stated 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.”
eFootball is out in autumn on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X. It will launch “soon after” on Android and iOS.