Konami announces eFootball, the free-to-play successor to PES | VGC

Konami has announced that the next game in its long-running football series will be free-to-play and have a new name.

Formerly known as Pro Evolution Soccer and Winning Eleven, the next instalment will be called eFootball and has been “completely rebuilt in Unreal Engine”.

The new game will be released on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC in the Autumn, with iOS and Android versions following later.

Although the game will be free, Konami says that more content and game modes will be released after launch and some of these will cost money.

Konami announces eFootball, the free-to-play successor to PES

“As a digital-only title, Konami will regularly add new content and game modes after launch this Autumn,” a statement from the publisher reads.

“In the future, certain game modes will be sold as optional DLC, giving players the freedom to build an experience that follows their interests.”

According to a roadmap published by Konami, the game will launch with the ability to play “local matches” with a selection of clubs, as well as the ability to play cross-generation matches (PS5 vs PS4, Xbox Series X/S vs Xbox One).

Later in the Autumn the game will add support for online leagues and a team-building mode similar to the myClub mode in PES titles (although its new name has yet to be confirmed).

Cross-platform matches will also be implemented at this point (allowing PlayStation, Xbox and Steam players to compete against each other), along with a season pass system.

Then, in the winter, Konami plans to add iOS and Android players to cross-platform matches, and kick off a series of eSports tournaments.

Konami announces eFootball, the free-to-play successor to PES

Konami claims the game will also feature new technology called Motion Matching, which “converts the vast range of movements that players make on the pitch into a series of animations, selecting the most accurate one in real-time”.

EA is implementing similar technology, which it’s dubbing HyperMotion, in its upcoming FIFA 22.

Konami launched a surprise beta test for eFootball last month, simply referring it to New Football Game at the time.

Konami rebranded its long-running Pro Evolution Soccer series with 2019’s instalment, which was titled eFootball PES 2020 as part of a product refresh designed to highlight the publisher’s growing focus on the esports market.

And last July, it announced that 2020’s PES game would be a “streamlined” title delivered in the form of a “season update” rather than a full release as was usually the case.

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