With Konami’s announcement to change Pro Evolution Soccer to free-to-play, a few fans are concerned about the future of the series. eFootball is the first simulation sports title to make this drastic change, while other companies flirting with the idea. However, in a recent interview on Techradar with eFootball producer Seitaro Kimura; Konami suggests its recent change pushes the game to a new level and fans can be excited about the future of eFootball.
eFootball innovation and direction
We have known for a while that Konami was ditching its FOX engine and replacing it with the popular Unreal 4 engine. “With the Unreal Engine, there are many more options for approaches, and with so many people using the Unreal Engine, I can refer to a lot of knowledge,”. says Kimura. This is the added benefit Konami gains for moving to such a well-known engine. In the past, employees at Electronic Arts have voiced their frustration with DICE’s Frostbite engine. Stating that the engine is “nightmare” to work with.
Kimura continued, “In addition, realistic gameplay requires both varied animations and high responsiveness. To achieve this, we built a completely new animation system, including technology we call ‘Motion Matching’. You can enjoy the delicate touch of the ball, feinting to deceive your opponent, defending with your body, or blocking a shot at the last second”. We heard of this before, the Unreal engine gives Konami the tools to improve the game in many areas. Match Motion is going to be one of the driving forces that changes how players experience eFootball.
eFootball going Free-To-Play
The decision to go free-to-play inspired Konami to create a cross-platform esports scene. To do this, Konami wanted to fuse its two audiences together: Japan’s Winning Eleven and eFootball PES. Brining both names into one would help Konami from a business aspect.
“Following the major changes in the game engine and business aspects, we [wanted to] create a large cross-platform esports scene. To this end, we made the decision to unify ‘Winning Eleven’ in Japan and ‘PES’ overseas into ‘eFootball’.”
While we do know a few things about eFootball, Kimura confirms and details more about Konami’s upcoming football title. “We will also continue to offer Live Update, a free data update service, so each team’s transfers and squad changes will be updated weekly,” says Kimura. One of the benefits to free-to-play is the frequency of updates we will see on eFootball. This will keep the rosters updated and bring more teams to the game, whether they are real teams or unlicensed. Kimura confirms that Master League will be available for purchases in the future, and that paid elements will include players for the new Team Builder Mode.
Question about “pay to win”
Vjestica: But how will eFootball balance the multiplayer and single-player components when it comes to fixes and future updates, and avoid falling into the “Pay to win” trap that so many free-to-play games succumb to?
Kimura: “We do plan to sell the existing offline modes as premium content in the future. As for those fixes and updates, they will be done in the same way for all modes,” says Kimura-san. “We are focusing on making sure that all players can enjoy a fair game. So the game specifications will not be a ‘Pay to Win’ system where paid elements will determine who wins or loses in a match”.
Konami plans to shell out more details about its upcoming football title and how it will disburse its content. eFootball is looking to spear head the free-to-play landscape for simulation sports title, and we are excited to see what the future holds for eFootball. The full interview with eFootball producer Seitaro Kimura can be found on Techradar.
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