‘PES 2022’ to launch as ‘eFootball’ this fall as Konami confirms free-to-play model for next-gen football sim

From the “eFootball” reveal trailer. | Photo credit: Konami via eFootball / YouTube screenshot

Konami’s football simulation series has gone through a name change in recent years, and Konami announced a similar move for what was supposed to launch as “Pro Evolution Soccer 2022” or “PES 2022.” The developer confirmed on Wednesday that the franchise is being rebranded as “eFootball” ahead of its launch in the fall.

What’s changing in ‘eFootball’?

The rebranding of “PES 2022” to “eFootball” is more than just a change of label, per Konami’s official announcement. It also marks significant changes in the franchise, especially in the next football sim’s development.

After primarily using Fox Engine for the previous football sims’ development, Konami said the “eFootball” is “dramatically rebuilt” on Unreal Engine. The video game company also announced that the upcoming game will have a digital-only release and will take on a free-to-play model.

Another feature of “eFootball” that Konami highlighted is that it will offer cross-platform play support, which has been a common functionality offered among free-to-play titles. The developer confirmed that fans would be able to play together with their friends regardless of the gaming system they use.

However, the announcement also confirms that “eFootball” is not currently planned to launch on Nintendo Switch. The game will be available on Windows 10 PC via Steam, PS5, PS4, and Xbox Series X/S this fall. The game’s mobile versions for iOS and Android will be released later but are also confirmed to be supported by the cross-play feature.

Konami’s announcement comes with a six-minute reveal trailer that offers a preview of the game’s improved graphics. “eFootball” will also debut several new gameplay features, namely Motion Matching that Konami says will “[convert] the vast range of movements that players make on the pitch into a series of animations, selecting the most accurate one in real-time.” Konami says Motion Matching will be applied to all platforms where, including last-gen consoles and mobile, where “eFootball” will be released.

Konami unveils ‘eFootball' 2022 roadmap

As a free-to-play title, Konami will largely rely on a regular stream of new free and paid content. In the same announcement, the developer revealed that it has planned the initial roadmap for “eFootball” that spans from its launch in fall through this winter.

The launch of “eFootball” in “early autumn” will have local matches featuring popular football clubs, such as FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, and Manchester United, and cross-gen matchmaking functionality. The cross-platform matchmaking will go live in “autumn,” which appears to be planned as a second update after the game’s launch, along with other gameplay features, including unnamed team building and online league modes. Konami also confirmed that it would release an update in winter that will add mobile controller support, expansion of cross-play to all regions, and esports tournaments.


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