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PES 2021 will be a lesser update because Konami are focused on next-gen game

A digital Lionel Messi in the next-gen PES.

Konami have announced that this year’s new Pro Evolution Soccer game will only be “a streamlined offering in the form of a ‘season update’.” The reason for the less substantial annual refresh this year, Konami say, is that the game they plan to launch next year on the next generation of consoles is fancy enough that they’re focusing efforts on that. For now, they have a tiny teaser trailer showing their next-gen Lionel Messi.

Konami say in today’s announcement that the next-gen game (PES 2022?) “is being developed with an updated engine that will enable us to dazzle you with staggering improvements to all areas of the game. Expect more realistic player models and animations, enhanced physics, photorealistic visuals, and much much more.” They add that they’re working on “large updates” for the Master League career mode and Fifa Ultimate Team-esque myTeam mode too.

“However, 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. As a result, we have made the decision to launch this year’s PES as a streamlined offering in the form of a ‘season update’.”

The trailer shows they’re using Unreal Engine, a change from the Fox Engine they’ve used since PES 2014. Yeah, rebuilding a game in a different engine could be a lot of work. Konami say they expect to begin testing the next-gen PES in mid-2021, then launch it later that year.

Correction: This post originally stated a new PES was not coming this year, because the talk about an “update” made me think they were releasing, y’know, an update. Konami’s PR have since been in touch to say that actually, a new standalone PES is coming this year.

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