The second-most popular football game after FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer has been discontinued after years of efforts to try and overtake EA Sports‘ FIFA in order to become the primary football game across the world. Pro Evolution Soccer maker Konami has announced that Pro Evolution Soccer is being rechristened as “eFootball." This will be a free-to-play title, offering cross-platform play post a global launch. The eFootball game will launch during autumn on the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam for PCs. There will be an Android and iOS version of eFootball that will follow soon after. Konami has said that crossplay on mobile phones will require an external controller.
Now, this is an interesting overhaul for Pro Evolution Soccer, that has always remained overshadowed by EA Sports FIFA and goes away from the old model of an annual paid game. The eFootball series’ producer Seitaro Kimura said in an interaction with IGN that the company has been planning this move since the past two years roughly, in order to coincide with the transition in console generations. Konami already has a mobile game named ‘eFootball PES’ that has been there for the past couple of years. “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 told IGN.
This comes at a time when live services games life Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends, and more are raking in big money for makers. Konami is hoping to make money with the help of hundreds of millions of football enthusiasts across the world. The free-to-play part is surely set to make for a lucrative option as paying about Rs 4,000 for the latest football game every year has been something FIFA players have expressed frustration at. However, it remains to be seen if eFootball will be able to pull away the crowd from EA Sports FIFA.
In terms of changes over Pro Evolution Soccer, eFootball will see new content and game modes over time. Konami isn’t talking about any modes, but it did say that local offline matches will be available for free at launch, featuring the company’s partner clubs like FC Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and more. Konami will also set certain game modes as optional DLC in the future. The company has also released a roadmap for the first few months that includes crossplay rollout, Team Building Mode, Online Leagues, a Match Pass system, and mobile controller support.
Konami says that the game has been designed with a custom football engine that uses the Unreal Engine as the base. The company even brought veteran footballers like Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique as developments advisors for the offensive and defensive gameplay. Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr serve as the game’s ambassadors. Konami said that it will address more details in the coming weeks or months like announcing if eFootball will be an online-always game, what offline modes the game will come with, and more.