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PES has gone free-to-play and it’s got a new name to… stand out?

Pro Evolution Soccer has always been the runner up in the yearly football match with FIFA. However, in an unexpected move, the football sim has spiced things up with not only a full name change, but a complete rework of a release model. PES is now a free-to-play, digital-only title that will launch this autumn under the new name of eFootball (sigh).

Despite the horrific name change, the move itself is a surprising and rather exciting shift from the slog of yearly releases.

Publisher Konami promise a next-gen experience that will “unite the community” with a “fair and balanced experience for all”. With titles such as Assassin’s Creed and the recently announced xDefiant showing the dramatic pull of the live service model, eFootball feels like a property actually suited to model.

Konami will provide free content to the platform and additional future game modes which will be sold as optional DLC. The publisher says that this will allow players to “build an experience that follows their interests”.

eFootball has been “dramatically” rebuilt in Unreal Engine to provide many advances both on and off the pitch. In a press release eFootball series producer Seitaro Kumari states:

“Starting with the strong foundations of Unreal Engine, which has allowed us to massively overhaul player expression, we’ve made a number of modifications to virtually create a new football game engine that will power eFootball for years to come”

Konami go on to mention “motion matching” which sounds vaguely familiar to FIFA 22‘s Hypermotion technology.

A content roadmap for the rest of the year details cross-platform matchmaking, mobile controller support, and a team building mode.

Konami eFootball roadmap

eFootball will launch digitally for free to players across PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC this Autumn. Mobile support will arrive on both iOS and Android soon after.

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