PES 2022 renamed eFootball — free-to-play, live-service, autumn release, and digital only

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
Konami has now booted the PES name from the flagship football-sim series and rebranded it as eFootball, a "next-generation, free-to-play football simulation experience."

The game will release as a digital-only title available in early autumn on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4 and PC, with a mobile version following later. The team are targeting full crossplay across every device, with mobile requiring the use of a controller. With the much-advertised swap to the Unreal Engine instead of FOX, Konami has been able to rejuvenate the animation system with something called Motion Matching. This will allow a four times increase to the number of animations compared to PES 2021 and should help achieve realistic movement on the pitch from one-on-one battles to defending. EA's HyperMotion technology used in FIFA 22 is supposed to do something very similar.

eFootball also received a roadmap that suits the new free-to-play style. The early phase of the game features local matches using Manchester United, Arsenal, Juventus, FC Barcelona, and others with extra game modes being sold as DLC. There will be cross-generation matchmaking within the family of consoles you are playing in, though full cross-play is coming in the winter.

pes 2022 efootball free to play roadmap

eFootball roadmap

Early Autumn:
  • All-new gameplay experience, powered by Unreal® Engine
  • Cross-generation matchmaking (i.e. PlayStation®5 vs. PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S vs. Xbox One)
  • Local Matches featuring FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, Manchester United and more
  • Cross-platform matchmaking between consoles and PC (i.e. PlayStation®5 vs. Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®5 vs. PC Steam®, etc.)
  • Team Building Mode (Name TBC) opened – build your own team by acquiring players
  • Online Leagues (Name TBC) opened – take your original team and compete in a global, competitive league
  • Match Pass system – earn items and players by playing eFootball™
  • Mobile controller support added
  • Full cross-platform matchmaking across all available platforms including mobile, when using a compatible controller
  • Professional and amateur esports tournaments kick-off
These are truly exciting times for the football sim space, as Konami makes the first major move into free-to-play for a major sports franchise. FIFA 22, meanwhile, will retain the traditional pricing structure and has been getting positive early feedback. We are truly excited to get our hands on these games! Konami has promised to share more on eFootball and gameplay in August.

What do you think, team? Good move? Bad move? Indifferent? Keep us posted in the comments!
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and other gaming news. He writes about PS5 exclusives like The Last of Us and Horizon, PS Plus news, and his favorite games — The Witcher, Assassin’s Creed, and God of War — before an evening swim.
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