We're still coming to terms with yesterday's news...
Konami announced that the PES franchise has been axed, with an all-new eFootball title replacing it!
Fortunately, it looks like the popular game mode, Master League, will be returning!
Check out all the latest below.
Latest - Master League will return
Despite all the changes and the game now being free to play, Master League will still be available.
However, the offline mode will NOT be free to play but can be bought as an optional DLC.
eFootball replaces PES 2022
eFootball is an all-new football simulation platform from the makers of PES and Winning Eleven.
It will be Free-to-play and completely rebuilt in Unreal Engine.
eFootball will launch worldwide first on PlayStation5, PlayStation4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10 and PC Steam this Autumn, with iOS and Android to follow soon after.
eFootball represents a fresh approach for the long-running franchise, previously known as Pro Evolution Soccer.
It seems that Konami is trying to re-establish itself as a big name in gaming, taking a competitive share of the football game market by going free-to-play would be huge - but will it pay off?
We don't yet have an official release date for eFootball - but we know it will arrive in early Autumn.
Judging from previous PES releases, we think the new free-to-play game is likely to arrive around Tuesday, 7 September.
We have just got our first taste of the brand new game!
Check out the Official Reveal Trailer below.
It seems Konami are trying to improve the fundamentals of the game to try and create the greatest football head-to-head experience in gaming.
eFootball will be available worldwide first on PlayStation5, PlayStation4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10 and PC Steam.
It will then become available on iOS and Android soon after.
PES fans will be now be wondering, will eFootball have the rights to the same clubs as PES?
Well, we think so.
With Konami recently adding Italian clubs Atalanta and Napoli to their roster, we shouldn't see too much change in the licenses.
Neymar becomes PES ambassador
The official eFootball Twitter account, has announced that Neymar Jr has become the newest ambassador for the eFootball series.
This also means that Konami has secured the full rights to Neymar Jr in eFootball.
EA Sports has secured a partnership with Paris Saint Germain until 2024, which means that they will have the full license to the players, kits, badges, team name etc.
However, with Neymar becoming an eFootball ambassador, we could see Konami change its Cover Star strategy.
We believe that Neymar is now the front-runner to become the eFootball Cover Star, given the global scale of his fame, along with the exciting style of football he plays for European giants PSG.
First licence announced!
We weren't expecting an announcement so early, but Napoli has become the first club to sign-on for PES 2022, in a licence agreement that will become exclusive from the 2022/23 season.
Napoli becomes the fourth Italian club after Juventus, Roma and Lazio to become a partner club, with an agreement also in place with the Italian Football Federation.
Konami has also secured the naming rights for Napoli's training centre, which will feature a brand new gaming area for players and guests.
Atalanta join the party!
Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. has announced that the company has signed a long-term, exclusive partnership agreement with Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio (Atalanta), the top-tier Italian football club who recently finished the season in third place.
As “Official Video Game Partner”, Konami has secured exclusive rights to the use of the Atalanta license, including team name, crest and kits, within real-time football simulation games, starting with the 2021/22 football season.
This exclusive deal means that FIFA 22 will no longer include the official Atalanta team name, crest, kits and player names.
PES 2021 Licensed Clubs
Here's a selection of the licensed clubs that were on PES 2021:
- Juventus (Exclusive)
- AS Roma (Exclusive)
- Barcelona (Camp Nou Exclusive)
- Bayern Munich (Allianz Arena Exclusive)
- Manchester United
- AS Monaco
- Bayer Leverkusen
- Zenit St Petersburg
- Shakhtar Donetsk
- SC Internacional
- Sao Paulo
- Boca Juniors
- River Plate
PES 2021 Licensed Leagues & Tournaments
Check out some of the tournaments that were available last year:
- UEFA EURO 2020
- Italian Serie A (Excluding AC Milan & Inter Milan)
- Italian Serie B (Excluding Brescia)
- French Ligue 1
- French Ligue 2
- Portuguese Liga NOS (Excluding CD Nacional)
- Turkish Super Lig
- Russian Premier Liga (Exclusive)
- Dutch Eredivisie
- Belgian Pro League
- Danish Superliga
- Scottish Premiership
- Swiss Super League
- Brazilian Brasilierao Assai 2020 (Excluding Palmeiras)
- Chinese Super League
- AFC Champions League
Two new partner clubs
It looks as if two new parter clubs will arrive for PES 2021, both coming from Italy.
In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Konami General Manager Manorito Hosoda suggested that two new Italian clubs want to join their esports series.
This could be anyone from Napoli, to Atalanta to Udinese - and we've looked at the main contenders here.
As you might know, Konami has chosen to switch engines in time for the arrival eFootball, moving to Epic's Unreal.
In an interview with Konami's Seitaro Kimura, producer on the eFootball series, he pointed to a few examples of how Unreal has already helped the development process.
One specific example is that with Unreal Engine, designers can take on various tasks without programmers’ help by using Blueprint.
By doing so, we believe that we can improve the production speed, improve the skills of individual designers, and receive many other benefits.
Konami is preparing for life on next-generation consoles such as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and have changed to a new 'Unreal Engine'.
And early images of the detailed graphics, created by an independent artist using the all-new engine, look very promising.
Fans can't get over how realistic the pair look in these images!
This is a bit of a tricky point for PES/eFootball, with the game struggling to compete with the dominance of FIFA Ultimate Team.
It's hard to see what Konami do to wrestle something back in this space - with perhaps utilising their range of international licences the way to go.
We now know that a handheld version of eFootball will be available, shortly after the release of the game on major consoles.
This means you can play the game on the go and never miss a thing.
We'll bring you more updates on the eFootball Mobile app once it drops.