Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) has been the sole rival to EA's FIFA series of soccer games for a long time, and now, Konami is changing up the franchise's brand name and format. The series is now called eFootball, and it is dropping the upfront price tag and yearly releases altogether, with it becoming a free-to-play venture that features cross-play across all platforms.
eFootball has been built from the ground up in Unreal Engine, with the series moving on from Konami's Fox Engine seen in PES iterations. With this change, the company says the game will have overhauled graphics, major upgrades to the animation department, and gameplay enhancements. Deeper looks at the gameplay changes will be arriving later.
"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," series producer Seitaro Kimura says. "With the added power of new-generation consoles and by working closely with elite footballers, eFootball delivers our most tense and realistic gameplay to date."
At launch, the digital-only title will feature local matches with FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, Manchester United, and five other teams for free, with new content and modes coming later via updates. Some game modes will be available as optional premium DLC packs that players can purchase depending on their preferences.
eFootball is hitting PC (Windows 10 and Steam), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 this autumn, with Android and iOS versions planned for later. As seen in the roadmap above, all platforms will receive cross-play support as the game rolls out its features in the months after launch. While mobile players will receive the same experience as other platforms, they will need a controller to match with console and PC players.