Pro Evolution Soccer just went free-to-play and it wasn't good.
Konami's long-running sports simulation franchise launched last week with players expecting a lot from the company after it released a development roadmap earlier this year, promising several updates in the future. Unfortunately, it appears that Konami was so focused on the future that it forgot about the now. Specifically, about making sure that eFootball ran well.
Now, eFootball has officially become the worst-rated game on Steam of all time, which is not an easy feat by any means.
Just how bad is eFootball?
You know that things are way out of hand when the developers need to release an apology for delivering the game in such a poor state.
To be fair, Konami had a herculean task ahead of them. eFootball didn't just change the name of the series nor its format. It also represented a change in game engine. Instead of using Konami's own Fox Engine, which was developed specifically for Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes nearly a decade ago, Konami opted to use Unreal Engine 5. The move was supposed to make the visuals and animations better. Unfortunately, the result has been anything but an improvement.
When Konami announced eFootball back in July, the company promised better gameplay including improved defenses, more realistic counter-attacks, and one-on-one confrontations that looked like the real thing. However, fans, especially those on the PC, are not impressed for the most part.
If it's any consolation, some of the reviews do point out positives. For example, some love how eFootball allows for "instant play from ball boys without cutting away" and the "new defending mechanics". It's just that the core gameplay is so bad that the few positives aren't enough to redeem it. eFootball has received so many reviews on Steam alone that it's now the worst-reviewed game on Steam ever.
At the moment, eFootball has a 1.04 rating on Steam out of 16,693 votes. But, it appears that Konami isn't giving up.
— eFootball (@play_eFootball) October 1, 2021
According to Konami, it intends on improving the quality of eFootball while also adding content. Konami also assured fans that an October update is already in the works. Because of this, fans might expect Konami to push back some of the features that it promised in its development roadmap. This includes everything from cross-platform matches, a battle pass system, online leagues, and a team-building mode, all coming in eFootball's first big update.
Hopefully, Konami can indeed live up to its promises. Otherwise, the company might suffer the same fate as that of CD Projekt RED. Coincidentally, it was also around this time last year that the Polish studio released Cyberpunk 2077. So far, the verdict is still out on CDPR redeeming itself.
We're definitely rooting for Konami. Given that the company confirmed earlier this year that it had several games in development with a recent leak claiming that Konami was working on new Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, and Silent Hill games, the studio could stand to use some positive PR going forward.