Konami Confirms PES 2021 Is a "Season Update" for PES 2020

PES 2021 is officially a season update for PES 2020, giving developer Konami an extra year to work on their next-gen debut.

An accidental PES 2021 listing on the Microsoft store had many fans in a tizzy earlier this week. It seemed to confirm that Konami wouldn’t be putting out a new game for PES‘ 25th anniversary. Instead, the team would drop what amounts to a roster update for PES 2020 and move on to next year. Today, Konami has confirmed that this is the case and, strangely, it seems like it might be a good choice. Give the Lionel Messi-filled announce trailer a watch below.

Of course, this year is different from any other in recent memory with COVID-19 forcing so many into self-isolation. Even with a game like PES, you’d have to forgive them if the team needed extra time to pump out a new release. However, Konami doesn’t even mention the world-wide pandemic in their release.

Instead, the statement focuses on an updated game engine and improvements to myClub and Master League. Obviously, it’s tough to make wholesale changes and stamp out legacy bugs within a year’s development time. That’s why many fans have been begging for sports games to make a move similar to this. If Konami can truly deliver an experience that feels like the next step up in football with PES 2022, it’ll all be worth it.

All that said, it does come at a strange time. After all, PES 2021 marks the franchise’s 25th anniversary. You’d expect the team to pull out all the stops. I suppose completely changing the game for how sports games release is that, but still.

There’s also the lingering question of a progression reset for myClub. Konami is much more giving than FIFA with their Ultimate Team mode, but will they force players to start over with this season update? Only time will tell.

The PES 2021 Season Update hits PC, PS4, and Xbox One on September 15.

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Ricky Frech

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