In the fall Konami wants to create the revolution of the Pro Evolution Soccer series with eFootball. Not only a new name should fix it, but also a completely revised concept. Full-price football as a free 2-play title: can it work? At least that's what the Japanese hope, skepticism remains - and anyway: Somehow the advance feels like a step backwards. It's like leaving the field to Electronic Arts and FIFA 22. 

It's actually the same battle every year: FIFA or PES - which is better? Also this year, shortly after the launch of FIFA 22, Konami presented its own football offshoot, albeit with far-reaching - and at least surprising - changes. The child is now called “eFootball”, and it is also to be released as a free-2-play game. Sure, F2P is no longer automatically an indication of poor quality, other games have long since proven this. Nevertheless, the new “Pro Evolution Soccer”, which is no longer called, has a flaw even before it is released.

Once for everything, please - except for Nintendo Switch

eFootball will release Konami for Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Playstation 4 and Playstation 5 and also as a mobile game. The Nintendo Switch are left out, so you probably didn't want to go that far with the restart. In view of the poor legacy editions of FIFA, there would be a great opportunity for Konami to assert themselves with a soccer game, especially on the Nintendo Switch. Does not matter. Mobile games are only played with the budget version for mobile phones or tablets.

The idea for eFootball doesn't sound bad at all: It doesn't cost anything at first, should be continuously expanded and enriched with new content, and there is a major update once a year. Except for the free factor, it's not as new as Konami fans want to sell. Instead of having to buy a single version with a serial number once a year, from now on you will simply expand eFootball. Revolution? Not even a little bit.

Things are getting smarter when it comes to the community. There should be cross-platform gaming - that would be revolutionary. The first cross-platform competitions will be offered as early as winter. And mobile fans? They can take part, but they have to use a gamepad. That is only fair, because having to go into the field with fumble control on the mini screen against the console player would hardly have been a sensible solution.

There is also a roadmap and it is currently rather poor: a measly nine clubs are apparently available for the start in autumn - well-known ones. But “selection” works differently. After all, some of the common Croesus teams are there: Bayern, Arsenal, Juventus and Manchester United, plus some South American teams. Lionel Messi is currently still busy advertising his virtual Alterego - Paris Saint Germain is not one of the starter clubs of eFootball. It remains to be seen whether and how the football magician will find his way onto the pitch.

Konami also wants to earn money with his idea. There will be paid DLCs, that's for sure. Obviously, other game modes will cost money, possibly also for other clubs or cosmetic items, maybe even fees for tournament participation will be due. Actually, you don't know anything, because Konami hadn't revealed much so far. Fans are accordingly concerned. And if you look at the developments in the free-2-play games sector, you would say: you are rightly concerned. In the end, “eFootball” could be a dime-grave and thus significantly more expensive than the annual new edition with the year.

Konami has published a six-minute trailer for eFootball. It reveals a lot, but by no means everything:

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After all, there is also real development: The game is now based on Unreal Engine 4, so the game should look good graphically. Very well indeed. The trailer shows what fans can look forward to if they want to get involved in the experiment. Konami claims to give the players the “ultimate soccer experience” - the presentation shows: it could work. Optics and animations look good. Not like “F2P”, but like PES 2022. Hats off for this courage. Even with the gameplay and the duels, hands were made to make the duels on the lawn even more lifelike. Whether and how the whole thing will be compatible with the mobile offshoot? Wait.

Does it all sound too good to be true? Also wait. So far Konami has rarely shown a lucky hand with the restart of their franchises, but it could work with PES - sorry, eFootball. Skepticism remains, however, because the “Free-2-play” feature often hovers over a brand like a sword of Damocles. And it leads to greed. It may then get out of hand, fans wander off. In the end, FIFA 22 triumphs. Is it just a horror scenario? Maybe, but quite realistic. If the “worst case” occurs, it was the attempt. Konami now faces a mammoth task to win the duel between FIFA and eFootball.

And electronic arts? There, following Konami's presentation, the champagne corks are likely to have popped. It has never been easier for the top dog to defend his position on the field. Football with many licensed teams? FIFA 22. Choice of game modes? FIFA 22. Technology? FIFA 22nd prize? Probably actually FIFA 22 despite the price increase. E-sports? FIFA 22.

There is probably a lot to suggest that Konami has screwed up evolution - but that doesn't mean that you don't want to be pleasantly surprised.

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Last updated on 3.08.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API