Konami has delayed eFootball's proper launch to next year following the game's disastrous release.
v1.0.0., which was due out 11th November, has been postponed to spring 2022, Konami said in a note to press today.
The mobile version of the game has also been postponed to spring 2022.
Konami has also pulled eFootball's controversial premium player pack from sale (its items need the v1.0.0. update to work), and all pre-orders for it will be automatically refunded.
It's the latest development in what has been one of the most disastrous video game releases of recent years.
eFootball launched in extremely limited form (Konami likened it to a demo), with offline 1v1 matches against the computer and online 1v1 matches in a challenge event the only modes of play.
The launch went so badly that eFootball became the worst-reviewed game ever on Steam. For more, check out Eurogamer's eFootball launch impressions.
Konami had insisted pre-launch that eFootball would evolve over time with new updates and features in-line with its live service game status.
Before the game came out, Konami said its first major update would add Creative Teams, which sounds a bit like PES' myClub mode, new player types (Standard, Trending, Featured and Legendary), contracts (loot boxes), and a load of new modes, including the eFootball Creative League, Tour Event, Challenge Event, Online Quick Match and Online Match Lobby modes.
All this is now delayed to spring next year.
Konami was also criticised for selling a £33 eFootball premium player pack you weren't able to use until November.
The plan was that from November, this premium player pack would give you "chance deal items" (loot boxes, effectively).
Those who paid for this will now get their money back, Konami said.
eFootball did receive its v0.9.1 today, but that focuses on bug fixes (here are the patch notes).
"We have been working diligently towards distributing an update that will bring new content to the game, including a new mode where you can strengthen and play with an original team, as well as support for mobile devices on November 11, 2021," Konami said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, we have concluded that more time is needed to deliver the product in the quality that will meet the expectations of our users and have decided to postpone the delivery.
"We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this causes our users and other stakeholders who have been looking forward to this title."
Konami said that if you pre-ordered the premium player pack and wish to continue playing eFootball, you need to re-download the game - except on Steam. "We apologise for the inconvenience," Konami said.
The company said it is considering reintroducing the premium player pack after reviewing the content, and will make an announcement once a decision has been made.
"We apologise again for the inconvenience. All production staff will continue to make sincere efforts to deliver satisfying contents in spring 2022. Thank you for your patience."
Specifically on the delay of the mobile version, which was due out this autumn, Konami said: "The whole team was hard at work to release the update this autumn, but after much thought we concluded that we would need more time to deliver the quality that you all deserve. Therefore, we have decided to postpone the update and work on improvements to the game.
"Please understand that we have made this choice to make sure that your experience with eFootball 2022 for mobile is the best one possible. To this end, all of us are fully committed to work on both the mobile and console versions to improve the gaming experience for everyone. "We promise this wait will be worth it, so please continue giving us your kind support for eFootball PES 2021 and eFootball 2022."
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