Hello T-fans, |
PES isn't just getting a new engine – it's getting a new name, new modes, new release style, and it's free-to-play.
Konami has officially renamed the Pro Evolution Soccer series eFootball, and it will become a digital-only, free-to-play game coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC this Autumn - with iOS and Android versions to follow (Konami refused to comment on any potential Nintendo Switch version). By this winter, all versions of the game will feature cross-play, although mobile players will need to use controllers to play against console and PC players.
It's a major move for the football series (now called eFootball globally, rather than PES in the west and Winning Eleven in Japan), and it's been matched with a shift from Konami's FOX Engine to a custom-built new engine created with Unreal 4. Crucially, it appears that all versions of the game, from new-gen consoles to mobile, will be functionally the same (not unlike Fortnite) – presumably meaning that the hugely successful PES Mobile will also be phased out or replaced.
eFootball is aiming to take a 'platform' approach with regular updates – there will no longer be annual paid releases of eFootball, but the platform will get free, yearly updates for new seasons.
eFootball will launch with exhibition matches and seemingly a selection of 9 clubs to play with. It will subsequently sell other modes as optional DLC, seemingly allowing players to pay for what they want out of their game. No mention has yet been made of MyClub, PES' equivalent to FIFA Ultimate Team, or Master League, the series' long-running career mode – although it seems likely that the former will be represented by an unnamed 'Team Building Mode' coming after release.
eFootball will launch as a slimmed-down experience, with more modes, teams, platforms, and cross-play options added as the year goes on. Konami's current roadmap is below:
The move to a new engine has also allowed eFootball to add a new Motion Matching animation system, which Konami says allows for four times as many animations as previous PES games. It doesn't sound unlike FIFA's newly-announced HyperMotion animation system, but Konami points out that Motion Matching will be applied to all versions of the game, even on mobile.
Konami says it will announce more about eFootball's gameplay and online modes in late August (which would put it around the time of Gamescom 2021).