Wow. I can’t believe the spectacular nature of Jon Murphy’s Eurogamer interview. You can find the article here:
I think Jon has played a blinder here on several fronts. No longer keeping his views on “Situation EA” amongst trusted allies, he’s all guns blazing! For me, this new bold approach could be the spark that PES needs. Konami for the last few years have not really strayed too far from their comfort zone. This year, we’ve seen Seabass take a back seat from proceedings to let new, young blood drive the series forward. That is a major boost in many gamer’s eyes, no doubt about it.
Whilst I won’t discuss his whole interview, there are a few key elements from it which have piqued my interest.
We’re seeing earlier interest levels in PES2013, with possible demo being released in mid-July hopefully. That to me is a positive and aggressive tactic. One borne from confidence in their product, more so than usual. Konami have acknowledged that the game has played it safe in the last few years in terms of trying new ideas and pushing the boundaries out.
Will this change in direction and more importantly attitude mean we are into a new era with PES? Whilst we can dismiss the usual questions about whether PES will take back it’s crown, this time we may have to sit up and take note.
We’re already hearing that there is no graphical overhaul to the game this year. This bodes well in my books. Back in the day, it used to take us a few hours to work out what they had done to improve PES. We’d have to play and figure out what had changed. Could those days be back? We only have a couple of months before we find out for ourselves. A very early demo which will no doubt not only serve as the proof of concept we need to see, but will also help Konami debug the game. It won’t be long before they get field reports from everyone on what is broken, and what plays well. Then we can expect the final demo to be much closer to the finished product, coupled with bug fixes found by you. That is a closer model to achieving success as we can hope for.
Something which can be picked up from the article is that EA have copied PES. Do many of you share this view? Is even drawing attention to this important? Personally speaking, I understand why Jon has gone public with this, as it shows that FIFA saw elements from PES’ game that they lacked. But equally, PES has lacked various elements that FIFA has in abundance – presentation and licences.
Jon has spoken about how Konami can’t match EA’s budgets for licensing. It’s the game’s achilles’ heel with the casual market, and it’s something they try to workaround as much as possible. There are those who must play with the latest and greatest players in each team, and those of us who value core gameplay over the shirts and names of players. Plus with the very many skilled modders out there, we get round this problem. Ultimately, talking about how FIFA has copied PES, doesn’t change the fact that PES is losing it’s core supporters in their droves in the last couple of years.
Konami accept that they will never been on an equal financial footing with EA, and will never match or overtake their sales figures. This is not in dispute. The essential issue is that in the critics’ eyes, and hardcore gamer’s eyes, PES is no longer THE game. Conquer this problem, and suddenly there’s no need to talk about how EA have just copied PES. No need to say that there is a media bias against PES. No need to worry about licences. No need to worry about sales figures.
PES has lost it’s acclaim and prestige that was once afforded to it in abundance. Sorry if I’m coming across as pessimistic or glum, but that’s how it is. But it’s not all doom and gloom, there most definitely is a silver-lining to every cloud. The question right now is, have Konami stepped up to the challenge required THIS year. We aren’t expecting a huge leap over FIFA’s game. We don’t expect sales to reach unprecedented highs. We want to see a game that reflects the prestige and quality that Konami were once reknowned for.