Out of sight, out of mind? Well, eFootball 2022 is not quite of “out of mind” yet after its less than stellar start, but over here at Operation Sports we’re still keeping an eye out on the once beloved series. The last time we saw eFootball it was late September, and we were treated to one of the worst AAA sports releases ever. While the version we played, V.09, was still early days for eFootball 2022, it was lackluster in nearly every measurable area apart from online connectivity, which oddly was a major pain point with the PES series in the past. Now that we have fast forwarded nearly a month, it’s time to see what’s next for eFootball 2022.
Future Updates For eFootball 2022
After the mess that was eFootball 2022’s release, Konami seemed to finally realize the error of its ways, acknowledging the poor feedback the game received via the official Twitter account:
— eFootball (@play_eFootball) October 1, 2021
After apologizing for nearly every aspect of the game’s initial release, Konami planned to get out an updated game in late October, which was rumored to be the version that many content creators across Europe played in mid-September. This version included the new “sharp kick” mechanic and received more positive feedback when compared to the version that was ultimately released (V.09). A week later, Konami doubled down on this commitment to righting its self-inflicted wrongs:
Update for our users pic.twitter.com/6DffY77Os7
— eFootball (@play_eFootball) October 8, 2021
This news, while exciting, seemed more like a bandage on a bullet wound. However, it still offered PES fans an olive branch. In typical Konami fashion, less than two weeks later we saw Konami backtrack from this by announcing that it would hold off on the late October update — they had already previously committed to releasing an updated version in November:
Update for our followers: pic.twitter.com/uCWiqitO52
— eFootball (@play_eFootball) October 22, 2021
While this is disappointing to those of us who have not completely written off the series, it does make sense if the November update was/is coming only a few weeks later. While EA has used a Title Update as a way to bypass the often tedious and time-consuming patch process, this postponement allows Konami to squeeze as many updates into the next release as possible. In what’s not typical Konami behavior at all, the company has has pledged:
“We will announce the date and details of the fixes as soon as they are confirmed.”
Konami does not have a good track history when it comes to transparency, especially as it relates to gameplay issues. EA on the other hand has steadily produced very thorough updates and patch notes through its Pitch Notes series, as well other online communications. Konami has created avenues for feedback in the past, namely Facebook as well as issuing surveys (there is currently one open right now):
'[Launch of eFootball™ 2022 Gameplay Survey]
We are very grateful for your comments and suggestions on how to improve eFootball™ 2022. We take your feedback seriously and are working hard to improve the game.
— eFootball (@play_eFootball) October 26, 2021
The survey primarily focuses on gameplay-related issues. Nearly every question seems to hit on an issue with the current version of eFootball 2022, so the feedback Konami must sift through could be massive. That said, if they want a good starting point, the developers should have just started with eFootball PES 2021 Season Update and addressed the issues with that version instead of building something from scratch that sort of looks and feels like PES but also plays like no quality control was conducted prior to release.
While the roadmap shows that we should be getting some modes in the next Autumn release, I wouldn’t exactly hold my breath as everything points towards eFootball 2022 being a game that isn’t up to par with it’s predecessor for quite some time, possibly well into 2022. There’s still no news of Master League nor have any of the new modes received an official name just yet. Perhaps an updated Roadmap or more interaction via social media handles would work towards helping rebuild a community whose confidence is bordering on zero. The community’s fears that this was essentially a mobile game were only exacerbated as the game was a disappointment.
Look, we know that the idea behind crossplay, Konami’s main intention for eFootball 2022, was to connect as many users as possible in an attempt to monetize the game through its a la carte system. Crossplay is something many of us who also enjoy FIFA have called for frequently, so it would be a huge deal if Konami can pull it off. What the community doesn’t want is to sacrifice the complexities and nuances that made PES so much fun at the expense of bringing in the mobile gaming market in the hopes of snagging boatloads of cash.
Instead of moving forward, it’s been a huge step backwards as I personally don’t know too many folks who have stayed with the game after its initial release. Many people who have drifted away would have most likely deleted the game, so it’s going to take quite the update in order to bring people back. The free price tag will always entice people to at least check it out, but longevity and playtime are metrics that can’t look good right now.
At the end of the day, this entire ordeal showcases the historically significant gap between Konami and its fans. Not only has Konami been slow to adapt to technology, the company has completely misinterpreted its fans in an effort to capitalize monetarily in a way that EA has done with its Ultimate Team game mode. I’m positive that the competitive crowd won’t stay with a game that’s currently a mess, even despite the fact that they will receive their preferred mode(s) long before us offline players receive a complete Master League.
It’s this hardcore community that mods the game and puts in the time and effort to make Konami a better product, which in turn generates more revenue as some offline folks have migrated to PES after feeling abandoned by FIFA and its unwillingness to achieve a consistent yearly release that focuses on realism — although FIFA 22 is much better in this department.
The key moving forward is communication and that’s a scary thing if we’re being honest. Konami has a loyal base and a few notable content creators that they periodically release information through, but the company needs a consistent and genuine interaction with the community to understand our current frustrations and what’s needed to turn this mess around. Will Konami succeed at this? Only time will tell.