This year at E3 we caught up with Konami and took a look at this year's Pro Evolution Soccer, which this year is evolving in more ways than one. Once again we met with Lennart Bobzien from Konami, and during our interview, we learned about several new features, including the name change.
"From now on our product will be called eFootball PES, obviously this year it will be eFootball PES 2020, and that for us is an exciting change. We are really looking forward to how our fans and users are going to receive that repositioning. [...] We want to grow and we want to build eFootball as a term as well, as it's about eSports, and all I can say is that it's going to be very, very interesting."
Iniesta is an eFootball PES 2020 game embassador and consultant, but how far does his actual contribution go?
"Since Iniesta decided to move to Tokyo, we really wanted to grab that opportunity, since he was just literally around the corner from our development team in Tokyo. He was very happy, very open, about joining the team, and sharing his experience with our development team, and in the end bringing our product forward.
"The biggest new feature is finesse dribble, and that was built based on Iniesta. Finesse dribble is all about how you can sneak through the defensive line, and with the right analogue stick you can pull off tricks in a more realistic way."
We also got confirmation that Messi will be the cover star, but he won't be alone. How many and who, Konami is not ready to share yet, but Bobzien did confirm July will be a big month for eFootball PES.
As for technical improvements, the trailer did show some new touches and animations.
"The team carried on working on the lighting engine, and that makes a huge difference in how the game comes to life, not only on the pitch but also the supporters and the stands around the pitch. I would say this year, what also makes a big difference is the new camera angle, which now is more of a compelling TV broadcast, and that makes it fell like as if you were at home watching a game with like Barcelona against Arsenal, for instance.
"We did loads of 3D scans this year, of many, many players, and we're looking forward to sharing those scanned players with our fans. I think PES is known for its quality in player likeness, and that's one of our main features. The other one is animations. When you're defending you will see new sliding animations and tackling animations, and also shot blocking, but you will also see attackers trying to push the defender away. All these little things will increase the realism and the authenticity around the game."
Bobzien also explained the new Match Day for us, and it will be essentially a mode based on upcoming big matches. At the start of each week, a match will be highlighted, like Arsenal against Barcelona, and each player will choose their side. All players will be contributing with points for their teams, but will also increase their score. At the end of the week, a representative of each team will be chosen, and both will face-off in a final match. All players can watch the final and will be rewarded if their team representative wins.
With a big focus on eSports, online play really needs to be at its best, something that was not the case with PES 2019.
"Online play, especially with eSports, is obviously very important for us. The team noticed the situation last year, what needed to be improved, and they are working on it consistently. We can guarantee that one of the main focuses is to improve the online mode year after year. I'm pretty confident our users will enjoy the online mode in eFootball PES 2020."
Regarding the demo release date, Bobzien confirmed it will be revealed in the PES 2019 League World Finals, scheduled to June 28 and 29 in Emirates Stadium in London. Licenses and more details about PES 2020 will also be revealed at the event.
eFootball PES 2020 will be released on September 10 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.