Konami's cards are on the table. eFootball PES 2021 will be almost sacrificed on the altar of next-gen in favour of a totally new PES 2022, developed with Unreal Engine instead of the old, internal Fox Engine. This is how Leo Messi will look like in the future.
Konami made official what has been more than a rumour for weeks. This year, the football simulator will be basically a "season update". It means that what people will find in stores labelled as eFootball PES 2021 will be an updated version of PES 2020, with the same gameplay and some extra features. It will be sold at a cheaper price, too. Bad timing, as PES turns 25 in Summer and doesn't seem the best of the celebrations.
Because Konami is focusing its resources on making a great transition to the next-gen, the core team is already working on PES 2022 and tweaking Epic's Unreal Engine, a set of tools "that will enable us to dazzle you with staggering improvements to all areas of the game. Expect more realistic player models and animations, enhanced physics, photorealistic visuals, and much much more", Konami said in a statement. In terms of content and game modes, there will be "large updates" on myClub and Master League.
Once this year is over, Konami plans to be back on track with the regular schedule next year. They expect to start testing PES 2022 in mid-year and having the first PES game for PS5 and Xbox Series X ready on the second have of 2021.