It’s long been a running joke among people who hate sports games that each new edition in a series like FIFA or Madden is really just a $US50 ($71) roster update. Well, joke’s on them, because this year Konami is going to do exactly that, turning PES 2021 into a DLC purchase for PES 2020.
A statement on the game’s website reads:
…the sheer scale of everything we are aiming to achieve for our next-gen debut has made it necessary to pare back our efforts in other areas of development. As a result, we have made the decision to launch this year’s PES as a streamlined offering in the form of a “season update”. That being said, we are still extremely confident that this year’s game offers fans more than enough thrills to tide them over until our next-gen title is ready for launch.
So you’ll get the new rosters, competition formats and any licensing changes (PES loses team/competition licenses as quickly as it gains them) as an add-on to the game you already own, rather than an all-new one, which means the game itself will still play exactly the same.
As a result of this, “this year’s PES will launch at an affordable anniversary price and will also come with several bonuses”.
When they say “the sheer scale” of work to be done, they mean that to coincide with the launch of a new console generation Konami is moving the next game in the series from its in-house Fox engine to Unreal, which is about as significant an overhaul a sports game can get (PES’ move to Fox transformed the series).
It’s a little sad that Konami, exhausted by its decades-long battle against the far wealthier and more resourceful EA in the football game space, simply couldn’t manage/afford to release two games in two years when one of them needed extra work. Which would make this the first time outside of EA’s continual NBA Live dumpster fire that I can remember a major sports game having to take a year off.
The next-gen PES will release sometime in the back end of 2021.