• James Kinch

eFootball to replace Konmai's PES series

Konami's long-running PES series that first begun on the PlayStation 1, will not be returning this year says the company and it will be replaced with eFootball in the autumn.

The PES and Winning Eleven names have been consigned to history, as Konami renames its primary football franchise to eFootball and prepares to make it free-to-play.

There have been rumours of just such a move for a while now, especially after the recent unnamed technical demo, and Konami has been sticking the eFootbal name in front of PES for a few years now – evidently in preparation for this moment.

Like the tech demo, eFootball will use Unreal Engine and will be released on console, PC, and mobile, with cross-platform matchmaking available after launch. Konami claims the animation system has been ‘overhauled’ with a new technology they call Motion Matching – which sounds similar to EA’s Hypermotion system for FIFA 22.

Konami claim it will result in four times as many animations as before and will be available on last gen consoles and mobile, and not just next gen and PC.

The game won’t be entirely free though, with ‘certain game modes’ due to be sold as optional DLC.

Looking at the roadmap, cross-generation gameplay should be released a little while after launch along with online leagues and a Match Pass system which looks to involve earning items and players, appearing very similar to other "Pass" systems.

Down the line there will be mobile controller support and eSports tournaments, currently due at the end of the year.

As usual for Konami games eFootball won’t have as many official licences as FIFA but FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, and Manchester United will be available for free at launch.

Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr., will be the ‘ambassadors’ for the game, with Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué acting as ‘official advisors’.

eFootball will launch this autumn on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC. Android and iOS will be released ‘soon after’.