Game developers Konami have made major changes to their legacy football game Pro Evolution Soccer, often referred to as PES, including a brand new name and release strategy.
eFootball, the new title from the Japanese company, will be released later in 2021 as a free-to-play, digital-only game that supports cross-play — scrapping the annual release cycle.
Built on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, eFootball is a fresh start for a franchise that has notoriously lost in the ongoing battle to the FIFA game series.
The new title will be available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X & S and Xbox One, and Windows 10 via Steam. A mobile version will be available on Android and iOS at a later date.
The change in name is emblematic of a change of internal perception around the game Konami have built. On their official website, they had “decided to create a new football engine” and the final result “was even more impressive” than they had anticipated. They believe they have “gone beyond the border of PES, into a new realm of virtual football.”
The game’s competitive scene has been using the eFootball name for some time, with eFootball.Pro serving as their flagship competition. Major clubs like Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus, Arsenal, Roma, and Bayern Munich compete in the league.
With eFootball, Konami are aiming to improve upon the gaming experience from top to bottom with a new engine. They’ve overhauled the animation system and game controls, with specific gameplay details being released in August.
Post-release content and game modes will be introduced to the game, adding upon the standard features such as local matches involving the aforementioned football clubs.