The Pro Evolution Soccer era is coming to an end. Konami has dropped the name and announced that it will be rebranded as eFootball, which will be free-to-play when it launches this autumn.
The name of PES has been archived into history following this huge switch-up from the Japanese publishers. There were rumours circulating since they put the eFootball name in front of PES that they were clearly building up to this big change.
Using the Unreal Engine. eFootball will be released across consoles, PC, and mobile, with cross-platform matchmaking being made available after launch. Konami is not sharing too many details about the game for now, but they claim the animation system is being ‘overhauled’ with new technology which they call Motion Matching, resulting in four times as many animations.
The game won’t be entirely free however, as certain game modes will be sold as optional DLC. On the product’s roadmap there is something called the Match Pass system which is due in late autumn, where players will have to earn items and players. The roadmap also pledges a team building mode and online leagues due in the same period.
Similar to other Konami games, eFootball will not have as many official licenses as FIFA but FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern Munich and Manchester United will be available for free upon launch.
The game’s ambassadors will be Copa America champion Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar Jr. The game will also feature Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique as ‘official advisors,' though none of these players will be on the cover as eFootball will be a digital-only release.
Speaking to IGN, series producer Seitaro Kimura explained that 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.
It certainly feels like a new revolution is on the horizon for gaming and football.