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Depending on your age you would have grown up with Winning Eleven or PES, but in recent times Konami have looked to take those franchises and evolve them, adding in the eFootball moniker with PES 2020. Now though they are taking things to the next level, presenting eFootball – the next-generation free-to-play football simulation experience that they hope will be able to take it to EA and their FIFA franchise, winning out in the process.

Coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5 and PC through both Win10 and Steam this Autumn, with iOS and Android versions to follow, eFootball is Konami’s new footballing title that sees them starting from scratch and building from the ground up.

Sold as a new global brand for a global audience, eFootball has been dramatically rebuilt in Unreal Engine, which in turn provides Konami the chance to make many advances, both on and off the pitch. It’ll drop as a free-to-play, digital-only title with a fair and balanced experience for all as the community look to unite and play eFootball anywhere – on consoles, PC and mobile, with cross-platform matchmaking available post-launch

After succcess with both PES and Winning Eleven, Konami feel it’s time for a new brand identity for a new generation of consoles and players, and it’ll be eFootball which represents a fresh approach for the long-running franchise.

“Starting with the strong foundations of Unreal® Engine, which has allowed us to massively overhaul player expression, we’ve made a number of modifications to virtually create a new football game engine that will power eFootball™ for years to come,” said Seitaro Kimura, eFootball™ series Producer at Konami Digital Entertainment. “With the added power of new-generation consoles and by working closely with elite footballers, eFootball™ delivers our most tense and realistic gameplay to date. We’ll share specific gameplay details next month, so stay tuned.”

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So what should us players expect? Well, thanks to the greatly evolved football game engine, the animation system has also been overhauled. New technology – Motion Matching – converts the vast range of movements that players make on the pitch into a series of animations, selecting the most accurate one in real-time. The system provides more than four times as many animations as before, achieving highly realistic movement. Motion Matching will be utilised across all eFootball platforms, including last-gen consoles, PCs and mobile. Each format will offer the same highly realistic esports experience including full cross-play support post-launch. eFootball on mobile will be detailed at a later date.

Ensuring that eFootball is an experience that everyone can enjoy, KONAMI’s new football game will be free-to-play across console, PC and mobile. But more importantly than that, it will also present a fair and balanced experience for all players. More details about gameplay and online modes will be revealed in late August and we’ll be sure to bring you them.

The move to eFootball doesn’t just let Konami mix things up on the pitch and off it is just as important. As a digital-only title, the team behind it will regularly add new content and game modes after launch and whilst local matches featuring FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, Manchester United and others will be available, for free, at launch, after that certain game modes will be sold as optional DLC, giving players the freedom to build an experience that follows their interests.

To ensure open and transparent communication, Konami has published the first roadmap for eFootball, presenting initial details about launch contents and what will be added in the months following. You can see it all in the trailer below, but in summary…

Early Autumn:

  • All-new gameplay experience, powered by Unreal® Engine
  • Cross-generation matchmaking (i.e. PlayStation®5 vs. PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S vs. Xbox One)
  • Local Matches featuring FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, Manchester United and more

Autumn:

  • Cross-platform matchmaking between consoles and PC (i.e. PlayStation®5 vs. Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®5 vs. PC Steam®, etc.)
  • Team Building Mode (Name TBC) opened – build your own team by acquiring players
  • Online Leagues (Name TBC) opened – take your original team and compete in a global, competitive league
  • Match Pass system – earn items and players by playing eFootball™

Winter:

  • Mobile controller support added
  • Full cross-platform matchmaking across all available platforms including mobile when using a compatible controller
  • Professional and amateur esports tournaments kick-off

With Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. global ambassadors for eFootball and Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué having been closely involved in development as official advisors for offensive and defensive gameplay, respectively, there should be much to love about the arrival of eFootball in the Autumn. Further announcements regarding additional ambassadors and details about Partner Clubs, licensing and more will be shared in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for that. But for now let us know what you think of this amendment by Konami. We’ll be honest, we weren’t sold on the addition of eFootball to PES 2020 and the Season Update for 2021, and still aren’t with the name going forward, but hey, what’s in a name! The comments are below – we’d love to hear from you.

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