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Konami has announced that this year’s PES game will arrive in the form of a “season update” rather than a full release as is traditionally the case.
The company said this year’s “streamlined” PES offering will be available “at an affordable anniversary price” – the football series turns 25 this year.
This will result in “staggering improvements to all areas of the game”, it claimed, including more realistic player models and animations, enhanced physics, and photorealistic visuals.
Konami plans to begin testing the next-gen game in mid-2021 and is targeting a release date later that year.
The company revealed the core concept of the game is ‘The Pitch is Ours’ and said it will feature “large updates” to the myClub and Master League modes.
It claimed “the sheer scale of everything we are aiming to achieve for our next-gen debut has made it necessary to pare back our efforts in other areas of development”, resulting in 2020’s streamlined PES release, but added that it’s “still extremely confident that this year’s game offers fans more than enough thrills to tide them over” until the next one.
Another factor that will likely have been taken into consideration is the significant disruption to football caused by the coronavirus during the current league season, and the potential for further upheaval in the upcoming campaign.
In contrast, rival football game publisher Electronic Arts plans to release FIFA 21 and other sports titles as planned this year.
Konami rebranded its long-running Pro Evolution Soccer series with last year’s instalment, which was titled eFootball PES 2020 as part of a product refresh designed to highlight the publisher’s growing focus on the esports market.