Pro Evolution Soccer will return this year – but that's not what it will be called.
The game has changed its name to "eFootball PES 2020", developers Konami has announced.
The name appears to be an attempt to link the game with esports, as a way of taking on long-term rivals Fifa. Konami said the new game would be "ushering in a new decade of industry-leading football simulation with a bold promise to revolutionise eFootball and introduce the sport to a global audience", according to a statement.
“Today’s announcement of eFootball PES 2020 and our new positioning recognises this company’s commitment to the emerging sport of eFootball and progress we’ve made in that direction with previous PES titles," said Jonas Lygaard, senior director of brand & business development at Konami, in a release. "With KONAMI’s continued investment in the PES LEAGUE and eFootball.Pro tournaments, plus our dedication to continually raising the bar for football simulation games, we’ve never been more excited for the future of the eFootball PES series.”
Aside from the new branding, the biggest changes this year appear to be additions to Master League, PES's career mode. The game now includes a dialogue system that will allow players to decide how to interact with other characters, and increased detail that will be added to the process of managing and negotiating contracts.
Otherwise, the game itself will be a normal update, following PES 2019 last year.
It is available to pre-order now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. PES will be released on 10 September across those platforms, though it will arrive two days later in Asia.
Lionel Messi will appear on the game's cover, returning to the front he featured on in 2009, 2010 and 2011 before leaving for the Fifas between 13 and 16.
The star appears because of a close tie-up between PES and Barcelona, part of a "Global Partners agreement" that has been re-signed in advance of the release of the new game. The Barcelona agreement makes it one of the few fully licensed teams in the game, and includes rights to its player as well as a recreation of the team's Camp Nou ground.
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