Konami has confirmed that the latest Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) video game has been renamed to eFootball, with the game set to be free-to-play with crossplay and no further paid annual release.
Konami has announced today that their latest PES release, renamed to eFootball, will be a free-to-play game that has crossplay between all platforms and will receive constant upgrades and updates, rather than releasing a new game annually.
Konami’s eFootball will be released in Autumn 2021 on PlayStation 5, PlayStation4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10 and PC Steam, with iOS and Android to follow soon after.
Rather than releasing a new gaming title annually, like EA Sports’ FIFA video game franchise, eFootball will instead receive regular upgrades and updates for players, clubs, game modes and much more, following the free-to-play philosophy of games like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends and more.
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Konami has confirmed that they will regularly add new content and game modes after launch the game’s launch this Autumn and that local matches featuring FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, Manchester United and others will be available, for free, at launch.
In the future, certain game modes will be sold as optional DLC, giving eFootball players the freedom to build an experience that follows their interests.
Konami also say that the game will have overhauled graphics and using Unreal Engine, “a new technology called ‘Motion Matching’ will convert the vast range of movements that players make on the pitch into a series of animations, selecting the most accurate one in real-time.
“The system provides more than four times as many animations as before, achieving highly realistic movement.”
Konami has also confirmed that this technology will be utilised across all eFootball platforms, including last-gen consoles, PCs and mobile.
“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,” said Seitaro Kimura, eFootball™ series Producer at Konami Digital Entertainment .
“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.”
On Tuesday, Konami also confirmed that Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar Jnr is now an official Ambassador for PES2021 and beyond.
Back in June, Konami released an early Beta version of eFootball called ‘New Football Game ’, in what was an ‘Online Performance Test’.
Konami insisted that this was a very early version of the game and that the sole purpose of the release was to check the quality of online matchmaking and connection to the servers.
And in May, Konami stole a march on EA Sports’ FIFA franchise by signing up Serie A side Atalanta to an exclusive partnership agreement.
As part of their agreement, Konamisecured exclusive rights to the use of the Atalanta license, including team name, crest and kits, within real-time football simulation games, starting from the 2021/22 football season.
Following the signing of this exclusive partnership agreement, Atalanta will not be featuring in EA Sports’ yet to be released FIFA 22 game in their current form, joining fellow Serie A sides Juventus, Napoli, Lazio and Roma as teams who won’t be on the game.
From FIFA 23, the same will apply to Napoli, whose exclusivity deal with Konami kicks in a year later.