Aadi NairSeptember 14, 2020 7:44:44 AM
There are very few industries that are not deeply affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and gaming is definitely one of the hardest hit industries. Some major titles are postponed indefinitely. Amid this chaos, gaming icon Konami has done well to ensure a relaunch of its flagship product Pro evolution football will see the light of day, albeit as a barely changed and slightly cheaper reincarnation of last year̵
The 2021 edition will not show any significant improvements over its predecessor and has therefore been called the “Season Update” by Konami. It hits shelves on September 15th and before its release Tech2 spoke to Jonas Lygaard, Senior Director of Brand and Business Development at Konami, to find out what exactly to expect PES 2021.
Edited excerpts from the interview follow:
This year marks the 25th time PES. What has been the series’s most important drive philosophy over the past quarter century?
In my opinion it has to be a dedicated pursuit to deliver the most authentic soccer simulation game on the market. However, I would also like to call for the PES to support young and emerging talent in real football since the beginning of Pro evolution football. For many people, their first encounter with today’s most talented footballers will be from their season in the Master League.
PES 2021 was called a “season update” – that is, it is not a “new” game per se. How exactly will the Season Update work and can fans expect a significant improvement in graphics, gameplay, etc.?
We cannot share specific information, but as we made clear in our first announcement, eFootball PES 2021 season update delivers all of the critically acclaimed features and gameplay of PES 2020. It’s important to make that clear PES 2021 is a stand-alone product and is sold separately to PES 2020.
What are the most important advances this time?
We wanted to give our developers as much time and resources as possible to focus on a truly groundbreaking next-generation debut. We believe the “Season Update” approach for PES 2021 is the right decision for the future of the franchise.
The effects of the coronavirus have been devastating for most industries. How did you deal with the pressure of having to develop a game amid COVID-19?
During the ‘Season Update’ approach for PES 2021 was planned before the pandemic, it certainly slowed down some internal processes, but overall the global teams adapted quickly. The main impact has been the delays in the end of the regular football season, causing delays in in-game metadata. We have looked into this, however, and will be delivering a patch for the first day to ensure that most leagues, teams, and players are up to date. That being said, there will be some licenses that we will need to update via data packs after launch.
The last year has been quite remarkable for PES, especially considering the Juventus license. How did the acquisition of the Juventus license rights affect the game a year later?
We’re incredibly happy with how PES 2020 performed both critically and commercially, and a big reason for that was the new licenses, including Juventus’ exclusivity. As with all partners, we were very proud to authentically recreate the Juventus players and the stadium in the game. We really value our relationships with partners and make sure that we make these global institutions and their fans proud with every new game.
PES has steadily expanded its line-up to include teams including Manchester United, Barcelona and Arsenal. How does the presence of these teams help make the game a better product?
PES The outstanding gameplay has been developed over many years. So if you love soccer you will love it PES. It is important for us to find the right balance between gaming experience and licenses. It remains true that our fans have a high demand for licenses. So we have licensing teams all over the world looking for new opportunities, but never at the expense of gameplay. Striving for that balance makes the game a better product in our opinion. Especially since our close relationships with clubs give us the opportunity to scan players and the stadium itself in order to eerily recreate them in the game.
Three managers, namely Frank Lampard, Pep Guardiola and Ryan Giggs, have been added to the game. What other changes can be expected in the Master League?
We can’t share specific information than we’ve already announced, but it’s fair to say that there won’t be any significant upgrades in line with the “Season Update” approach. However, we have been transparent about our aspirations for our next generation title and how it will effectively be built from scratch, including upgrades to the Master League.
Given the delay in the euro, what can we expect in relation to a Euro 2020 patch?
The result of the real delay in the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament is that our exclusive Euro-themed content will be available in PES 2021 From day one. That being said, our players should expect a far-reaching in-game campaign associated with the newly scheduled tournament in 2021.
We are currently on the edge of the gaming generations. How did you plan the upcoming transition?
After getting a taste of the possibilities the next-gen consoles would offer gamers, the development team was noticeably excited about what this could mean for the future of PES. In order to present a next generation debut that meets our own expectations and those of our fans, we decided to release it PES 2021 as a ‘season update’. We believe this is the right decision for the future of the series.