Last week Konami decided to rename their Soccer game, Pro Evolution Soccer in the west and Winning Eleven in Japan, as eFootball globally. As part of the decision, it was also announced that the game would be a free-to-play title, released digitally and supported by yearly updates instead of yearly releases. This was a smart play to compete with the franchise’s biggest rival Fifa.
While PES has always been a good soccer game, in terms of sales it has been far outpaced by EAs juggernaut sports game, as Fifa is still the best selling sports game in the world. This strategy was always set to in some way change the landscape of sports games, as most still have yearly releases on top of in-depth multiplayer systems revolving around microtransactions. As it turns out, their biggest competition was watching and was impressed with this decision.
Disclaimer – This information has not been verified, therefore this is not factual.
Fifa, in all fairness, has no reason to copy or imitate the move being made by the newly branded eFootball. Since that franchise has been losing the soccer wars by a lot, the idea of going free-to-play offers a level of exposure the franchise has not been used to. However, while Fifa already has a standard release announced for this year, next year they might move to the free-to-play market as well.
According to the well known Fifa leaker Donk, we can expect not just a free to play Fifa next year, but one that features cross-play as well. Both of these are key features being utilized by eFootball in their upcoming model. While it is not clear that this is a decision that might be made in response to the Konami title, it is important to note that EA has plenty of sports franchises that do not seem poised to transition.
Free to play 🤝 Cross platform #FIFA23
— Donk | #FIFA22 (@DonkTrading) July 17, 2021
While Fifa 22 will not have either of these features, this might not be a bad thing from a business standpoint. This will give EA sports time to watch what success Konami achieves and act accordingly. If this does go well, we could begin to see more and more sports games attempt this model.
Games like NBA 2k have been recently criticized for their marketing, which often focuses heavily on the game currency players can pay real money for. Since many of these games like Madden and NBA 2k actually make more profit on these currencies, the price of entry is slowly becoming obsolete.
Source – Tech n club