Konami’s cult Pro Evolution Soccer series tries a new tactic in its endless duel against FIFA. To stand out from its bigger rival, the football franchise adopts a new name, eFootball, and play for free on consoles, PC and mobile.
This is clearly not even. Konami has rebuilt the game with the Unreal engine as part of the shift to offering a digital service. The biggest change in gaming is the new “motion matching” technology designed to make player animations more realistic. Players will choose between different real-time moves during matches. Looking like the original Pro Evos game is what helped set it apart from FIFA, motion customization can prove a make or break feature.
As you would expect from an F2P title, eFootball will regularly receive new updates after the launch this fall. However, Konami must tread carefully. Free-to-play games have attracted both players and regulators due to their exploitative nature, best summed up with loot boxes that cost real money to acquire. The last thing the big developer wants is to starve Pro Evos̵
But the news is likely to raise alarm bells for fans. Konami said that only “local matches” with FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, Manchester United “and others” will be available for free at launch. While certain game modes will later be sold as optional DLC, “which gives players the freedom to build an experience” that matches their interests. There is a high risk that Konami is tapping to restore the franchise as a common feature in dormitories and living rooms around the world.
The game will land in early fall with match generation between current and latest generation PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Later in the fall, you can expect a team-building mode in leadership style, online leagues and a match pass system that rewards you with items and players. At the same time, cross-platform games will be introduced between consoles and PCs. This winter will see the release of mobile controller support, full cross-play including mobile and the launch of professional and amateur eSports tournaments.
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