Konami recently revealed that it chose to change its popular soccer game, PES’ name to eFootball after 25 years, and the reason has yet to be revealed.
Konami has officially announced that it changed the Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) series’ name to eFootball in a YouTube video posted on its channel on Wednesday, 21 July 2021. It will now become a digital-only, free-to-play game coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X and personal computer (PC) later in this year, with Android and IOS versions to follow. By the end of the year, all versions of the game will feature cross-play, however, mobile players will need to use controllers to play against console and PC users.
This is a big shift for the football series, and it has been matched with a move from Konami’s FOX Engine, to a custom-built new engine crated with Unreal 4. Fans are led to believe that all versions of the game, from mobile to new generation consoles, will be functionally the same. This could mean that the successful PES Mobile will be replaced, or be phased out.
Seitaro Kimura, a series producer of PES and eFootball, explained to IGN that they are aiming to take a “platform approach” with regular updates, meaning that there will no longer be annual paid releases of eFootball, but the platform will get yearly, free updates for new seasons. The ‘new’ game will launch with allegedly a selection of nine clubs to play with and exhibition matches. eFootball will subsequently sell other modes as optional downloadable content (DLC), which allegedly will allow players to pay for what they want out of their game. Konami has yet to mention what will happen to MyClub, the PES equivalent to FIFA’s Ultimate Team, and Master League, the series’ long running-career mode.
The developer has yet to reveal the reason behind why they decided to change PES’ name. However, Konami stated that it will announce more about eFootball’s online modes and gameplay in late August.