For years, Konami has been working out how its football sim, Pro Evolution Soccer, can chip away at the loyal and massive playerbase of its rival FIFA. Whether it’s snapping up big licenses for major football clubs like Juventus, or bringing in established football stars such as Lionel Messi and Neymar for marketing while FIFA targets the youth with Kylian Mbappe and co., it’s always tried to disrupt EA’s behemoth.
However, today it has announced its most radical move yet – ditching the historic PES name, rebranding to eFootball, and going completely free-to-play with plenty of exciting (and potentially FIFA-busting) features.
eFootball will be a gradual-building process, starting in the “early autumn” with a massive gameplay engine update and the ability to play as nine football clubs (including Manchester United, Arsenal, and Barcelona). According to the roadmap, this will feature cross-generation matchmaking, meaning those on old-gen and new-gen PlayStation or Xbox consoles can play with each other.