Konami has officially renamed the PES series to “eFootball”, and made it free-to-play and digital-only.
The dramatic shift begins with this year’s game, simply titled eFootball, which is due out on consoles, PC and mobile with cross-play.
eFootball, out this autumn, is built on Unreal Engine – another first for the famous football video game franchise. The trailer below shows off a brief snippet of gameplay:
eFootball launches worldwide first on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, and Windows 10 and PC via Steam this autumn, with iOS and Android to follow soon after. A Nintendo Switch version wasn’t mentioned by Konami in its note to press this morning.
Konami said it will share gameplay details next month, but it did mention something called “Motion Matching”, which “converts 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 continued. “Motion Matching will be utilised across all eFootball platforms, including last-gen consoles, PCs and mobile.”
Konami also promised to regularly add new content and game modes after eFootball launches in early August. Local matches featuring the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern, and Manchester United will be available for free at launch, Konami confirmed, alongside cross-generation matchmaking (PS5 vs PS5, and Xbox Series X and S vs Xbox One).
Then, later in August, cross-play between all consoles and PC goes live, alongside a team-building mode (this game’s version of myClub?), and online leagues, where you “take your original team and compete in a global, competitive league”.
There’s also what looks like a battle pass in there – it’s called Match Pass system, and with it you earn items and players by playing the game.
Then, in the winter, Konami will add mobile controller support, full cross-play matchmaking across all platforms, including mobile when using a controller, and pro and amateur esports tournaments kick off.
It sounds like Konami will sell individual game modes, too. “In the future, certain game modes will be sold as optional DLC, giving players the freedom to build an experience that follows their interests,” Konami said.
Konami published the roadmap image below, which shows what’s coming between launch in early August and this winter.
Last month, Konami quietly launched what was called ‘New Football Game Online Performance Test’ on console (gameplay video below). At the time we thought it was an early look at PES 2022. It turns out, it was an early look at eFootball.