We interviewed Lennart Bobzien, European PES Brand Manager, to learn more about PES 2021 and what we can expect from its next-generation debut.
Konami surprised us during the month of July with the confirmation of its short and medium term plans. The PES brand took a step to the side for the first time in its 2021 edition; a Season Update, as they call it, that takes the gameplay of eFootball PES 2020 and adds the new features in the templates of the 20/21 season.
But they went further: PES 2022, the first of the generation of PS5 and Xbox Series X, would leave behind the Fox Engine to use the Unreal Engine. An authentic declaration of intentions to start this new stage on the right foot. For this reason, we interviewed Lennart Bobzien, European PES Brand Manager, via email to learn how the coronavirus situation has affected the development team and what we can expect from what is to come.
MeriStation: How has the coronavirus crisis impacted the development of eFootball PES 2021? Was the transition to work from home easy?
Lennart Bobzien: The current situation of COVID-19 has not helped, as it slowed down the internal processes, but in general the international teams have adapted quickly. The main impact we have received was due to the delay in the conclusion of the football season, which also led to the delay of the metadata for the game. However, we’ve already taken care of it and will offer a day one patch to make sure that most leagues, teams, and players are up to date.
What is the situation of the team in Japan? Have you been able to retake the full job yet?
I can’t go into specific details, but the development team in Japan is working to maintain the government’s security advice.
Was eFootball PES 2021 planned from the start as an update to eFootball PES 2020? Or was it due to the current situation?
As we started planning our debut for the next generation, we quickly realized that our ambitions required more development time together. As a result, we wanted to make sure our team had the resources they needed to fully focus on it; the decision we made was to take the strategy of the Season Update.
What will happen if the major league seasons are delayed even further? How will it affect the game?
While we hope for the best, we have been transparent on that: in case of increasing delays, some leagues may offer data for the 2019/20 launch season. Our teams are well positioned to move fast and deliver the latest data as quickly as possible.