Konami has revealed that it is rebranding its famous soccer franchise, dropping the PES title and adopting eFootball as its official name going forward. As part of the announcement, the publisher also confirmed that the series would be free-to-play across all platforms.
The move was unveiled in a press release and an official reveal trailer for the game, which showed off some of the revamped visuals created in Unreal Engine as well as motion matching. This is a piece of technology that “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.”
According to Konami, eFootball will launch in the fall across PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S, with versions for Android and iOS coming later. The game will also support cross-generation play while cross-platform play will be added at a future date.
As part of the free-to-play model, eFootball will give players access to a select number of teams, such as Manchester United and FC Barcelona, which can be used in local matches. Other modes and clubs will be available to purchase.
It looks like Konami will move away from yearly releases and will now shift to a service-based approach that sees eFootball updated regularly over time. This will make it very different from its main competitor in the form of EA’s FIFA series.
“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,” said series producer Seitaro Kimura in the press release.