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Pro Evolution Soccer to rebrand as digital-only, fully free-to-play game on range of consoles

The game will henceforth be known as eSoccer and will get free annual updates on all platforms.

IT IS THE end of an era for Pro Evolution Soccer, Konami’s video-game series which in the ’00s rivaled EA Sports’ Fifa but will later this year rebrand as a fully free-to-play, digital-only game on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC — with iOs and Android versions to follow.

PES will henceforth be known as eSoccer and by the winter, all versions of the game will feature cross-play, although mobile players will need to use controllers to play against console and PC players according to IGN, who first reported the rebrand.

IGN also reports that similarly to Fortnite, all versions of the new game, from new-gen consoles to mobile, will be functionally the same.

eSoccer will be entirely free to play: there will be no paid releases or updates, but instead free annual updates ahead of new seasons.

Despite all of the change, Peter Drury and Jim Beglin will remain the English-language commentators and the game’s famed customisation options will remain similar to that of previous editions.

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The first launch of the new game will allow users to play friendly matches with nine clubs including Arsenal, Manchester United, Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich, with more modes, teams, platforms, and cross-play options to be added as the year progresses.

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For the video-game aficionados among you, the game will also shift from Konami’s FOX Engine to a custom-built new engine created with Unreal 4. This will allow eSoccer to add a new ‘Motion Matching’ animation system, which Konami says will allow for four times as many animations as previous PES games. This will be applied to all versions of the game, even mobile.

Konami will announce more about eFootball’s gameplay and online modes in late August.

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