The developers announced the transition to a digital-only version of the game.
Konami recently announced its decision to turn Pro Evolution Soccer – their flagship football video game into ‘eFootball,’ a digital, free-to-play version. The Japanese entertainment conglomerate will create a singular video game, which will be available across all platforms.
Konami will create features within the game to support gameplay across multiple gaming platforms from consoles to mobile phones. More updates regarding cross-platform play will be revealed by early winter. In an interview with IGN, PES series producer Seitaro Kimura revealed the base scope for the game.
Kimura and the team have still kept their cards close to their chests concerning the game. Further news about the release, the format, the different components of the game will be revealed next month. More updates on the timeline of the game will be available in the future.
The thought behind the transition
Kimura informed that his decision to make eFootball stemmed from a ‘platform-based approach.’ He answered “We started planning this move roughly two years ago to coincide with the console generation transition and changes in the market environment. 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.”
Kimura, though, clarified that the game will follow a console-oriented approach. Konami are also planning equivalents for the highly successful mobile version. For players playing on mobile, they would require controller support to play with players using consoles.
The aim behind eFootball is to create a holistic player vs player approach. Kimura attested to this fact as well. He stated “We’re making it so that people can enjoy playing against other players. This provides a greater thrill than what AI can provide,” reasons Kimura. “We believe that the 1v1 offence and defence realized in this way is the most important innovation of eFootball.”
Switching engines and gameplay
Konami are also switching from their own FOX engine to the more prominent Unreal engine. Konami attempts to use the Motion Matching Technology for simulating player movement and ball-playing capabilities. They are currently working with experts and players to understand the usability of this technology.
When asked of the same, Kimura replied, “In order to understand how the best players in the world play the sport, we brought in [footballers Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué] as gameplay advisors and asked for their advice,” Kimura explained. “It was a big decision to change the controls that people are used to. But, it made the battle for the ball more realistic and more reflective of the user’s intentions.”
The switch allows for more animations to accurately simulate player movement and create more real-life gameplay situations. Konami will use the Unreal engine for the game across all platforms and versions.
“Unreal Engine’s development speed is one of the fastest among game engines, and its scalability includes both high-end and low-end – perfect for mobile and next-gen platforms. We would ask our fans to not worry, we have made great efforts to tailor the visual quality of the game to the hardware of each device,” said Kimura
Konami has also experimented with changing gaming controls for various movements. Kimura mentions the focus on balancing attack vs defence with more off-ball controllability as well.
Game modes and campaigns
An interesting development to keep an eye on would be the change in the game modes. There has been no word yet on the changes that could come in the game modes. These include Master League, My Club – PES’ own rendition of FIFA’s Ultimate Team and others. It is expected that the game modes will be created and released as separate DLCs (digitally licensed content).