Leaks suggest that Konami might make PES 2022 Free-to-play
Popular football video game franchise Pro Evolution Soccer might go Free to play in its newest edition. The football sports genre in gaming is currently being dominated by EA Sports’ FIFA which has a player base of 7 million strong. Being an annual release franchise FIFA games just have minor changes in subsequent editions. Konami aims to take over the genre by giving out its 2022 edition completely free.
In the recent episode of the podcast “VGC Off The Record”, VGC’s Andy Robinson can be heard saying
“Konami are flickering to life, and there’s also gonna be new stuff with PES this year, I hear. They’re gonna go properly free-to-play and really change it up this year. You’re starting to see stuff with the tech demo they put on PlayStation 5.”
Robinson has previously worked with the likes of CVG and is reputed to have sources in the industry. He also sheds light on the stuff revealed in the PlayStation 5 tech demo hinting Konami is going all-in to overtake FIFA.
The 2021 edition of PES saw Konami experimenting a lot. There was a downscaled PES 2021 Lite which featured only quick match, Co-op, and skill practice with just 5 clubs. The standard eFootball PES had a 25$ season update, it was priced lower than its 60$ EA counterpart. PES aims to adopt a freemium model that gamers have been longing for, FIFA over the years has seen very little changes and is riddled with bugs yet is sold at standard AAA rates.
The sports genre in general relies heavily on monetization in the form of loot boxes and microtransactions that offer playable characters that give you an upper hand over your opponents. This mechanic is often gloated over by gamers as its ubiquitous influence can be seen in other genres also. The new release might change things and revolutionize the whole genre. Nothing has been revealed by Konami yet, going by its usual release calendar PES 2022 is not coming out any time sooner than September.