Konami Scales Back ‘PES 2021,’ Will Just Be DLC For ‘PES 2020’


Citing a desire to achieve more for the next edition of their “Pro Evolution Soccer” series, Konami is relegating their “PES 2021” to a DLC purchase for “PES 2020.”

There’s a long-held belief among sports game enthusiasts that each new edition in a series is pretty much just a $50 roster update. This Konami move does exactly that.

A statement on the game’s website reads:

“…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”. That being said, we are still extremely confident that this year’s game offers fans more than enough thrills to tide them over until our next-gen title is ready for launch.”

Basically, this means that you’ll get the new rosters, competition formats, and any licensing changes as an add-on to the game you already own, rather than an all-new one. “Pro Evolution Soccer,” unfortunately, loses team and competition licenses pretty quickly and inconsistently, Kotaku notes.

The game itself will still play exactly the same with only the rosters, competition formats, and licenses being altered. No updates in jerseys either, which shouldn’t matter even if many soccer leagues have resumed action in a COVID-19-stricken world. Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi remains the face of the game despite the scaling back.

As a result of this, “this year’s PES will launch at an affordable anniversary price and will also come with several bonuses.” Developer and publisher Konami has released a “Pro Evolution Soccer” game annually since 2001 and although it is in direct competition with EA Sports’ “FIFA” series, it has still somehow managed to have a global following.

Kotaku surmises that when say “the sheer scale” of work to be done, they mean that to coincide with the launch of a new console generation Konami is moving the next game in the series from its in-house Fox engine to Unreal, which is about as significant an overhaul a sports game can get.

It has been established long ago that EA is far wealthier and more resourceful in the world of football games and thus, Konami simply couldn’t manage/afford to release two games in two years when one of them needed extra work. Thus, how EA Sports is being treated by 2K Sports’ “NBA 2K” series is how they have been treating Konami here.

The next-gen PES will release sometime in the back end of 2021.


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