Last month, Konami shook up the virtual football world by announcing the end of the mythical Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) series. After several years of sharing the title “eFootball PES”, the Japanese publisher made a radical decision to transform its flagship license into a free-to-play game, largely inspired by mobile games. To mark this change, Konami permanently removed the name “PES” and kept only eFootball.
Since this announcement, the return of players is not really optimistic and the latest statements of Konami have not helped things. Recently, it’s the eternal rival who spoke about this change. Electronic Arts has played the modesty card and does not get wet.
FIFA 22: Listening to the community
It was during his latest financial results that Andrew Wilson, the CEO of Electronic Arts reacted to the change concerning the PES license to address the fears of shareholders. As usual, the editor plays the wisdom card and says he is confident, thinking above all of the community. Obviously, this kind of change is not planned for FIFA 22 and future releases.
Andrew Wilson’s statement
In terms of changing the name of Pro Evolution Soccer to eFootball and going free-to-play, we’ve seen that happen before. I’ll just tell you that we’re very committed to our football business […] to our player base, and we’re continuing to grow it. We’ve listened to our community over the years […] we continue to invest heavily, not only in game modes, but also in gameplay, to make sure we’re providing the best possible experience for our global player base. We are seeing extremely strong demand for the next version of FIFA, and engagement with the franchise continues to grow.
Again, competition is always a good thing. We always pay close attention to what the competition. But our commitment is to our player base and to releasing the most complete and authentic football game on the planet. And we believe we have the best team to do that, and we will look to continue to do that over time.
According to the CEO’s statements, EA Sports does not appear to be thinking about a move to free-to-play. The £60 annual updates with FIFA Ultimate Team still have a long way to go.