Konami officially announced on Wednesday a few changes for its soccer series. It will be renaming the Pro Evolution Soccer series to eFootball and turn it into a digital-only, free-to-play experience that will launch later this year on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC. Android and iOS will follow later.
By winter, the plan is to have all versions of the game feature cross-play. This is a huge move for the game, and one that fans of sports games have long asked for in other titles.
“It all began with the implacable determination to create a revolutionary soccer platform,” Konami said in a statement on its website. “Our ambition was to recreate the perfect soccer environment, from the grass on the field, to the players’ movement, all the way to the crowds in the stadium. To this end, we decided to create a new soccer engine with a newly built animation system and revamped game commands. The final result was even more impressive than we had originally conceived. We went beyond the border of PES, into a new realm of virtual soccer. To signal this new era, we have decided to part ways with our beloved PES brand and rename it eFootball.”
Konami also detailed some of the game’s roadmap, with an all-new game engine to release in early autumn, along with local matches using some of the most renowned clubs in all of soccer, including FC Barcelona, Arsenal, and Manchester United. Later in the fall, the company plans to have online leagues open up alongside Team Building Modes. Finally, esports tournaments will kick off in winter with full cross-platform and mobile controller support enabled.