Konami has officially rebranded the Pro Evolution Soccer series to eFootball, and it will now be a digital-only game free to play on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC this fall. and Android versions later (Konami declined to comment on any potential Nintendo Switch releases). This winter, all versions of the game will feature cross-play, although mobile players will need to use the controls to play against console and PC players. PES was one of the most streamed and popular games on Twitch. Hundreds of Twitch streamers became popular thanks to PES. Buy Twitch followers and get the same level in the game niche. It seems that PES has come to an end, so streamers have to stick with Fifa.
It’s a huge step up for the soccer series (now called eFootball globally, rather than PES in the West and Winning Eleven in Japan), and it’s combined with a change from Konami’s FOX engine to a new custom engine built with Unreal 4. Essentially, it seems that all versions of The game, from next-generation consoles to mobile devices, will be functionally the same – which likely means that the highly successful PES Mobile will also be removed or replaced.
Speaking to IGN, series producer Seitaro Kimura explained that eFootball aims to take a “platform” approach with regular updates — there will be no annual paid eFootball releases, but the platform will receive free annual updates for new seasons.
eFootball will be launched with exhibition matches and apparently a selection of 9 playable clubs (see roadmap below for the full list). It will later sell other modes such as optional DLC, apparently allowing players to pay for whatever they want from their game. MyClub, the PES equivalent of FIFA Ultimate Team, or Master League, the series’ traditional career mode, has yet to be mentioned, although the former will likely be represented by an unnamed “team building mode” after launch.
We’re still unclear on how new teams will be added to the game, and exact details of how the eFootball modes and monetization will work won’t be revealed until a later date. However, Konami says the game is designed to be “fair and balanced” for all players, despite its move to a free model, which will apparently also include Battle Pass slots of Match Passes.
While much of eFootball’s focus is a change from PES, IGN can confirm two items returning: Peter Drury and Jim Beglin will continue as English commentators, and the beloved Option Files (which allow players to customize a large part of the game. Including unlicensed teams and sharing these files), although post-launch support was added, and we’re still not clear on how it will roll out or if it will hit Xbox platforms for the first time.
eFootball will be released as a reduced experience, with more modes, teams, platforms and cross-play options added as the year progresses. Konami’s current roadmap is below:
Switching to a new engine also allowed eFootball to add a new animation system called Motion Matching, which according to Konami allows four times more animations than previous PES games. It doesn’t look that different from the HyperMotion animation system that the FIFA series recently announced, but Konami indicates that Motion Matching will be applied to all versions of the game, even on mobile devices.
Konami says it will announce more about the game and eFootball modes online at the end of August (which it will put out around Gamescom 2021).
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