Konami is on the verge of launching the 20th edition of their long-standing Pro Evolution Soccer series this year — here’s everything we know about PES 2021 so far, including which clubs will be licensed, release date, and more.
PES has long been considered a major contender against EA’s Ultimate Team-focused FIFA franchise, with both battling it out for the esteemed title of greatest football simulator on the video game market.
This year, Pro Evolution Soccer is looking to make up ground on the FIFA juggernaut as the gaming world moves into the next generation. Konami’s simulator has always been lauded as the graphical powerhouse, and 2021 should be no different.
Here’s everything we know about PES 2021 so far, from release date and which official club licenses the series is carrying this year, to new features on the horizon, the shift to next-gen consoles, and plenty more.
PES 2021 release date
Konami has yet to officially pen in any release dates for their 20th Pro Evolution Soccer title, but we can have a fairly decent punt at when we’ll see it on shelves. Most other PES releases have come in September. Expect that again this year too.
Historically, PES has slipped their release schedule into a slot two weeks ahead of EA’s huge FIFA debut every year. With rumors that FIFA 21 will be pushed back to the end of September this year, PES could fit into that mid-month gap.
PES 2021 official club licenses
Pro Evolution Soccer has long been notorious for carrying non-licensed team names for a lot of the bigger names in world football. In recent years, however, Konami has been flexing their licensing muscles, and it’s paying off.
PES fans can expect to see Barcelona — and cover star Lionel Messi — return in the 2021 release. The Spanish giants signed a four-year deal with Konami in 2019, meaning they’ll be sticking around for the foreseeable future.
Juventus will also definitely be included. Konami’s cut-throat 2019 deal saw the regular Serie A champions removed from the FIFA franchise, and switched out for a fake ‘Piemonte Calcio’ club instead. Arsenal will also definitely be in PES 2021.
Here’s the full list of clubs which are currently involved in licensing agreements with Konami, and therefore will appear in Pro Evolution Soccer 2021:
Every licensed club in Pro Evolution Soccer 2021
- Bayern Munich
- Schalke 04
- Manchester United
- AC Milan
- Inter Milan
- Atletico Mineiro
- São Paulo
- Vasco da Gama
- Boca Juniors
- River Plate
- Universidad de Chile
- Alianza Lima
- Sporting Cristal
- Sport Boys
- Universitario des Deportes
New features coming in PES 2021
The flagship change expected in Pro Evolution Soccer 2021 is a mega-update for Master League, the career mode in PES. The mode is expected to have a raft changes heading into 2021, including changing transfers, rate of player improvements, and more.
PES 2021 will likely also see another major graphics boost as it lands on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X later this year too. This could bring with it bumped-up graphics on high spec engines, and dynamic changes to match days.
Finally, the 2021 release will also play host to the delayed Euro 2020 (2021) event. The huge European football championship was pushed back to November this year because of global lockdowns around the world, and PES acted accordingly.
Fans can expect to see the hyped-up launch of the Euro 2020 event in-game around launch, we predict. That gives players a month to settle into the Pro Evolution Soccer grind in early September, before the promo drops in earnest.
Will PES 2021 be on next-gen consoles?
Pro Evolution Soccer 2021 should be released on both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in 2020. Both flagship next-gen consoles are expected to launch sometime in the 2020 holiday season, and PES will be involved in that launch too.
There’s every chance Konami aims for a dual launch, to also release the title for fans that do not make the immediate jump into the next generation. Therefore, the title will likely drop on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year as well.
How much will PES 2021 be?
The Pro Evolution Soccer franchise has not deviated far from its regular pricing over the last few years, and so we can predict that this year’s release won’t be far off that mark either.
That means the standard edition of PES 2021 should come in at £50 in the United Kingdom, $60 in the United States, and around $59 in Australia. Last year, PES 2020 was released with a £47.99 price tag to edge out main market rival FIFA.
So, there you have it! Everything we know about the impending Pro Evolution Soccer 2021 release coming later this year. We’ll make sure to update this article with any and all info that drops between now and then too.