Konami has revealed the release date for its upcoming free-to-play title, eFootball 2022. The company has announced that its replacement for the Pro Evolution Soccer series will launch on September 30 – though it should be noted that the game will be limited in both features and game modes until a post-launch update this fall.
Konami announced that eFootball 2022 will provide its users with a “taste of what to expect from the new free-to-play football simulation platform” when it launches for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC on September 30. The game will then receive its first major update later this Fall, which will coincide with the launch of eFootball 2022 on iOS and Android devices.
Some fans may feel disappointed with the title’s launch, although Konami has previously said that it’s ‘basically a demo”. eFootball’s offline mode, for example, will only contain nine teams and six stadiums when it releases. Whilst those teams include the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, and Arsenal, many may feel disappointed that after a busy transfer window, teams such as PSG, Manchester City, and Real Madrid won’t be playable in the mode when the game comes out. We’d previously heard that the launch version of the game will also be missing some in-match mechanics.
Konami has also said that the game will launch with online cross-generation matchmaking. However, until a subsequent update, it seems that online play will be delivered through weekly online events that fans can enter using pre-set teams to earn rewards such as GP – an in-game currency earned through gameplay.
The game’s first major post-launch update sounds like it should add a far greater range of content to the title. Most notably, it will introduce a Creative Teams mode to the game. From Konami’s description, fans should see a number of team customization features added through the new mode.
In Creative Teams, Konami says that you will be able to “sign footballers and coaches that match your favourite formations and tactics, then train and strengthen them to play against players from around the world.” Fans will also be able to “target the signings that they covet the most, making team building more accessible,” and can, “choose a base team from one of over 600 licensed clubs in the game”. Creative Teams will premiere alongside eFootball’s Creative League where players can compete against one another, bid for promotion, and look to become the best in the world.
Creative Teams isn’t the only additional content launching with the update. Additional ways to play, including a 1v1 Match Lobby, Online Quick Matches, and Tour and Challenge Event modes will be arriving post-launch. Performance-related player types will also make their appearance at this point, from the addition of trending players who’ve recently put in impressive performances on the pitch to legendary figures who’ve had remarkable seasons. Each new player can be signed through in-game contracts earned via GP or through eFootball Coins – the game’s premium currency.
On that note, it’s probably important to point out that eFootball’s Autumn update will also introduce the platform’s new monetization model. Whilst the term ‘monetization model’ is always likely to prick up the ears of any fan base, Konami promises that its new model is “re-balanced to ensure that all players can reach the same potential, regardless of how they acquire in-game items”. As part of the model, eFootball will feature a Match Pass that looks to reward players with items after they’ve played a number of certain match types. In addition to the standard Match Pass, an ‘Advantage Match Pass’ will also feature in the game that fans can purchase for better rewards.
eFootball Series Producer Seitaro Kimura spoke about the current installment of eFootball. “With ‘eFootball’ being the name of our overall platform, eFootball 2022 is the official title for our first season of content,” Kimura said. “Platform updates bringing new functionality, such as cross-platform matchmaking and mobile controller support, will happen frequently over the coming months and will always be free. Future content updates and game modes will be offered to players as either free or premium options. We look forward to getting players on the pitch and receiving their feedback.”
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.