|OS Real Time|
|Mark Forums Read|
|Edit Your Details|
PES' Jon Murphy's Fightin' WordsPosted on June 27, 2012 at 11:27 PM.
Well, honesty from a game developer. Who woulda thunk? That’s a refreshing change.
For those who may have missed it, Eurogamer found PES lead Jon Murphy in a candid mood. In the interview, he gave a pretty rosy forecast on the franchise’s future (expected), a stark critique of its recent past (surprising), and a shot across the bows of EA Canada, accusing FIFA of “copying” PES (meh).
Now, the interview lacked any actual info on PES 2013 that we haven’t already known about already, but that’s okay, because a lot of it has been the same stuff the game’s promised to us for the last few years anyway. What we did get, on the other hand, was a defiant Jon Murphy, fighting back after what seemed like almost an entire year's worth of coronation for the FIFA franchise.
Like a manager managing a mid-table team, in a low enough position to feel the relegation heat but with enough time to change its fate by putting on a few good performances, it seems like Murphy has decided the best team-talk to turn things around is to lay it all on the table. And why not, they’ve tried every other way in years past. Blind optimism certainly didn’t work. And the pretense of a fresh start was undermined by the fact that much of it was still the same old same old.
Some brief reactions upon reading the interview:
Murphy suggests that the PES franchise finally has some wind in its sails and is ready to kick back at FIFA. Again, with most things PES, I feel the need to preface this by saying that we’ve heard this line many times. But funny enough, this time I may just believe it. Perhaps the most telling thing in the interview was his admission that, compared to North American games, PES feels less free. Finally, it’s about time the team acknowledged this, and changed it.
Don’t get me wrong, I admire all the work Seabass has put into the franchise, but towards the end of his tenure there was a niggling sense that the series was clutching at straws. It seemed that Seabass was more preoccupied with expressing to the world of what his philosophy of a soccer game should, and more importantly shouldn’t, be, rather than create a game that let players take advantage of everything a PS3 or X360 can offer.
Since its first release on the current gen consoles, PES games always felt like there was a certain sense of restriction to it. There was a sense that you’re forced to do certain things because the game was incapable of producing other possibilities, or worse, that you’re forced by design— because the game wanted you to do so. The result was that, sometimes, even during moments when the action on screen looked like real soccer, it felt like the game steered you there as opposed to you making those decisions yourself. For Murphy to acknowledge that this was perhaps the wrong path to go down— even after Seabass’ stepping back— is a big deal. Couple this with the changing of the guard in Japan and what looks to be a new direction for the title, maybe there’s truth to PES’ long awaited counterattack on FIFA after all.
“If they’re not hurting, You’re not trying hard enough”
Swear to God that’s a true quote. It's the motto of an older man who plays centerback on my rec league soccer team (I think that may also explain why he’s still single). Anyway, that quote came to mind when Murphy went on the offensive, claiming that FIFA copied PES, and that EA locked Konami out of many of the world’s top league licenses. I understand and I empathize. If I was in his position, I’d be mad as hell too.
First of all, the licenses. According to Murphy, EA is working in cahoots with its chummy contacts around the world to sign exclusivity contracts. I mean, it’s not the noblest thing to do, but it certainly isn’t illegal either. It's not like anyone will ever mistake EA sports as a benevolent entity. There's a large amount of money at play here because like it or not, real kits have a lot of sway— just take a gander at the PES impressions thread come release time to see how many times the words “license”, “shirt”, “generic”, and “yuck” (blech is acceptable too) is mentioned. That earlier quote, that's exactly what EA is doing. They’re hurting Konami, and judging from Murphy’s reaction, and more importantly from the sales figures, they’re doing so pretty successfully.
Murphy mentioned that he’s “fed up with the lack with this lack of understanding about why (they) don't get licenses.” Now I can only speak for myself, and maybe parts of the OS soccer community, but I don’t think there’s a lack of understanding. We get it, they're backing PES into a corner by any means possible. In fact, I’d go as far to say that understanding why Konami can't get the licenses doesn’t play a big part in our judgment of the games. Not anymore, anyway. After all, Konami can only gather so much goodwill from making valiant efforts and falling short, but at some point we’ll have to judge by what’s been put in front of us. If the kits and logos aren’t there, they aren’t there.
(And as a sidenote: Even if Konami can’t score the licenses, can’t they at least make it easier to install custom option files instead of the soul crushing file by file installation process we have to go through right now?)
As for FIFA copying PES; again, Murphy’s frustration is understandable. He reminds us that it was PES that pioneered the concepts that FIFA has incorporated into its games. But isn’t that how it goes? A game introduces something, then it’s open season for its competitors to adapt it and refine the concept. So it can be argued that it’s as much a case of PES not doing enough to improve upon what it started as it is a case of FIFA copying.
Besides, the Winning Elevens/PES’ during its heydays, even held up to what we play now, are still the most realistic soccer simulations ever made. So anything EA does to make FIFA more realistic is going to look like they were copying the things that made PES so successful in the first place. Hell, the current PES games could do with some copying of their own ancestors. To Murphy’s credit, he readily admits that while EA was busy making FIFA play like the old PES games, his own title had stumbled massively with its first releases for the current gen consoles. And besides, all Murphy wants is to remind us of the old PES’ contributions to the genre—he’s not, in any way, saying FIFA doesn’t deserve the accolades it has received. So even with that controversial c-word— copy— being trotted out, at the end of the day it’s just a case of, as the Brits would say, handbags. It sounds like it's a huge deal-- and more importantly it generates hits to the interview-- but it really isn't; and any overreaction to it would be silly.
Overall, color me surprisingly optimistic. It may be another false dawn-- God knows we've had enough of those with all the PES resurgence talk-- but I don't know, this time Murphy’s tough talk may just be reflective of the his team’s confidence about their release this year. For the last two years there’s been signs of life— enough to show us what they were capable of, not enough to mount a full fledged comeback— but now with his frank admission of its past failures and the new organizational changes, it may just be the clearest sign that PES is ready to turn the corner.
JOINED: Feb 2, 2011 (2 years, 137 days ago)
MEMBER # 10,105,313
JOINED: Feb 2, 2011 (2 years, 137 days ago)
MEMBER # 10,105,313
106 Forum Posts
0.12 Posts Per Day
30 Blog Entries
110 News/Blog Comments
0 Reader Score Votes
0 Chalkboard Messages
55,241 Arena Visits
kelvinmak's Blog Categories
kelvinmak's Screenshots (0)
kelvinmak does not have any albums to display.