When Konami announced the latest iteration in its long running football Pro Evolution Soccer football series back at E3, eyebrows were raised at the changing of the name of the series from 'PES' to 'eFootball PES'. Now the studio's European brand manager has explained the curious change in moniker.
Speaking to Gamespot, Lennart Bobzien said that 'Talking about Pro Evolution Soccer–in Europe, it was always a tricky one, and when we discussed this repositioning we thought, let's call it football, it's a European market [so] we want to have football.' He continued 'We still keep PES in the product name since we feel that's still part of the heritage and we want to keep it in there. Therefore, the combination will be eFootball: PES.'
To put it bluntly, it seems that there'll be a bigger focus on eSports competition with the latest outing, with Bobzien citing the PES League and eFootball Pro contests. 'We simply thought that by including it in the product naming, we're making a statement and showing our community of fans, but also the wider audience, that esports will play a very big part moving forward.'
Elsewhere this week, Konami announced that it is partnering with Manchester United for the new game, meaning as well as the obvious licensed kits and real-world names, the game will also include a faithful rendition of the club's most famous ground Old Trafford. Previously, the PES series had a partnership with the team's long term rivals, Liverpool. But this came to an end at the end of June, with Konami announcing that Liverpool would no longer be playable in official PES 2019 eSports competitions.
eFootball PES 2020 is expected to release on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC on September 10. PES 2019 was supposed to be this month's PS Plus game, but was mysteriously swapped out at the last minute for Detroit: Become Human.