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The next PES will be called eFootball and free-to-play

We're told that you’ll still be kicking balls at least

Konami’s PES series, the main rival to the FIFA games, is ditching quite a lot of that it used to be. The publisher announced that it’ll be fully digital from now, with the name changed to “eFootball” to reflect that. It’s also going to be free-to-play. It’s a swerve worthy of (googles best of all footballers), Lionel Messi. That’s handy, as Messi is in the trailer, talking about winning. He doesn’t specify if it’s in regards to the game, but we can read between the lines.

You generally don’t make a yearly football game without upgrading everything, but PE- sorry, eFootball, looks like it’s starting over. It uses the Unreal Engine, and promises overhauled graphics and animation. They seem to be focusing on those one-to-one moments that earn footballers sponsorship deals, so the animation gets bigged right up in the trailer. Apparently, the “Motion Matching” will select the most appropriate animation from a huge database, and will definitely not generate a hilarious series of bug compilations on YouTube. Definitely. Not.

The game launches with nine teams (Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Arsenal, São Paulo FC, River Plate, Flamengo, and Corinthians) in exhibition matches, and slowly will rollout online leagues, team building mode, tournaments, and the usual battle-pass style unlock subscription. Full crossplay between PC, consoles and even mobile platforms will be here by the end of the year. Mobile players will have to plug in a controller, so you know it's the same game for everyone.

eFootball, which sounds a little bit like “Ian Football”, will be on Steam by Autumn.

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