Consider eFootball's early autumn launch as "basically a demo", Konami has said.
Addressing questions about the game in a Twitter thread, Konami asked itself: "is early autumn launch basically a demo?"
"In many ways, yes," Konami said. "We want people to get hands-on with eFootball as soon as possible, so we will launch with a limited number of teams and modes. Exact details to follow."
Last month Konami announced it had renamed PES to eFootball and made it free-to-play and digital-only.
eFootball launches worldwide first on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, and Windows 10 and PC via Steam early autumn, with iOS and Android to follow soon after.
At launch, only local matches featuring the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern and Manchester United will be available, alongside cross-generation matchmaking (PS5 vs PS4, and Xbox Series X and S vs Xbox One). You'll be able to play against CPU teams via local match. During this time eFootball won't have microtransactions, Konami clarified, which means everything will be free-to-play.
Then, later in the autumn, cross-play between all consoles and PC goes live, alongside a team-building mode (this game's version of myClub?), and online leagues, where you "take your original team and compete in a global, competitive league".
Then, in the winter, Konami will add mobile controller support, full cross-play matchmaking across all platforms, including mobile when using a controller, and pro and amateur esports tournaments.
Konami had said it plans to sell individual game modes as optional DLC, "giving players the freedom to build an experience that follows their interests."
One of these DLC game modes is Master League, perhaps Pro Evolution Soccer's most famous game mode. Konami has not said how much it will cost.
There's also what sounds like a battle pass in there - it's called Match Pass, and with it you earn items and players by playing the game.
PES games have had loot boxes to earn players for use in myClub, its FIFA Ultimate Team-style mode.
Konami said Match Pass lets you "nominate and acquire your favourite players" instead. It's all pretty vague at this point, but Konami described Match Pass as "a system to receive items based on matches played". A free and paid version of Match Passes will be available. However it works, I'm hoping you won't be able to essentially spend your way to gaining specific players.
Here's the statement:
"Previous games had a strong 'lottery element', but eFootball lets you nominate and acquire your favourite players with Match Pass, a system to receive items based on matches played. Free & Paid Match Passes will be available."
Other news includes confirmation Konami will add edit mode / option files as a free update for PS5, PS4 and PC after the initial release - but not Xbox consoles. Option files are currently not available on PES games on Xbox One, and it sounds like eFootball will continue that trend.
There's been a lot of talk about eFootball's visuals after Konami quietly launched what was called 'New Football Game Online Performance Test' on console last month (gameplay video below). At the time we thought it was an early look at PES 2022. We now know it was an early look at eFootball.
The concern revolves around the fact eFootball will be available on mobile as well as PC and console with, eventually, crossplay across all platforms (eFootball is developed on the Unreal game engine - not Konami's own Fox Engine).
"eFootball is developed first for consoles but is a platform for everyone to enjoy," Konami said in its Twitter thread.
"The game will take full advantage of the hardware capabilities of each supported device."
Will next-gen graphics be downgraded to play against mobile users?
"We will make graphical adjustments to the mobile version but the next-generation graphics on consoles and PC will not be downgraded," Konami insisted.
Perhaps mindful of the reaction to all this, Konami said eFootball includes multiple filters for matchmaking based on location and platform.