While I declared PES 2016 to be the winner in this year’s football game showdown, the game isn’t without its problems. For starters, the PC version is a joke. Then there’s the matter of how badly Konami have screwed up the game’s roster updates.
Having accurate player rosters is a big deal for sports games; along with kit changes and the odd bullet-point feature, it’s one of the main reasons people have to buy a new version of the same game every year.
Now, roster changes are a bigger problem for games like PES than they are for, say, Madden or NBA2K. For one, there are more players and more teams in soccer titles than the American sports games, and they also tend to have a higher turnover rate between (and during) seasons, which means a team entering the 2015-16 season can look nothing like the one that ended the 2014-15 campaign.
There’s also the matter of the busiest time for player moves — the May-Aug offseason — taking place just as developers are putting the finishing touches on their games to get them out the door, which must be a giant hassle.
Despite this, FIFA usually has its shit in order, launching with the vast majority of players in their correct teams. And those they don’t tend to get updated pretty quickly.
PES, on the other hand, has been a disaster. While the game’s online rosters are OK following an October (!) patch, those for offline play — like the centrepiece Master League mode — were way out of date when the game launched in September, omitting transfers that had taken place in July or even June.
An update was released last month that corrected some of this, but it somehow managed to still be incomplete, omitting all the signings from the last few days of the transfer window, the busiest time for player movement in the entire football calendar. Players were so angry at this bizarre oversight that Konami went and issued an apology.
Today, Konami announced that an update to finally correct this will be released on December 4. December! For a AAA game with ambitions of seriously challenging EA’s FIFA juggernaut, that’s utterly inexcusable. Like, it just defies belief. It would have been quicker for fans to draw up a spreadsheet and make the transfers manually than it has been for the developers of the actual game to make the changes.
As if that’s not bad enough, by the time the update is released, it will be less than a month until another transfer window opens in January.
Which, given Konami’s current track record, probably wouldn’t be addressed until PES 2017.