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PES 2014 & The Next-Gen Question Mark

So you’ve absorbed the PES 2014 news and many of you are over the moon. But as always there are some that will feel a little disappointed by the absence of a Next-Gen version this year.

There is a logical reason for this, we’ll break it down for y’all. Its not because Konami are lazy, not confident in their product or because they don’t want to challenge the competition. These decisions are made by taking a wide range of factors into account, mainly financial and developmental.

Financial Factors

Please note, some of the figures used in this article may not be 100% accurate. They are only used to paint a picture.

Analysing this decision solely from a financial perspective, Konami’s strategy with PES2014 is logical. A section of the PES community may be disappointed but the truth is the making games is a business, influenced by the most basic equation that Profit equals Revenue minus Costs. Given the current financial climate globally, games companies must make decisions with long term insight/strategy. Konami have invested in developing a new engine and would love to showcase it on the forthcoming Next-Gen platforms, however, the time and effort required to produce such a version would not be “rewarded financially” or balanced by sales figures.

The PES series sells approximately 6 million units per year on PS3 and Xbox 360. The install bases of both consoles combined is approximately 130 million (total sales 150 million consoles – estimated duplicate purchases accounting for 20 million). Therefore, we can deduce that 4.5% of Current-Gen console owners globally buy PES. Interestingly, with sales of 12 million on Current-Gen the mega-marketed FIFA series is only purchased by 9% of console owners.

The two tables below present the sales figures for the PS3 and Xbox 360 during the first 6 – 7 months after their respective launches. Sony shifted 4.32 million units between November 2006 and June 2007, whilst Microsoft sold 5 million consoles between November 2005 and June 2006. Furthermore, those sales figures were achieved in a more stable financial climate (pre-recession of 2008). Let’s consider that the PS4 and Xbox One will launch at $400 (US Dollars) and that they both sell 5 million respective units between November 2013 and June 2014. That would provide a Next-Gen install base of approximately 10 million by June 2014.

Console Sales

Sources: PlayStation 3 Sales & Xbox 360 Sales

If Konami released PES 2014 as a Next-Gen title, they would be lucky to sell 450,000 copies (even that figure would be ambitious). Moreover, it is likely that customers purchasing a console from March onwards may wait till PES 2015 is launched in September/October 2014 before making an investment. Quite simply the install base in the first few months after launch would simply be too small to justify the financial commitment Konami must undertake to release a Next-Gen PES 2014.

Developmental Factors

Historically most launch football games have been below par, primarily due to time constraints, implementation of new engines and the developers lack of familiarity the hardware. The first 12 months following the launch of the Xbox 360 saw 3 football games launched on the console, FIFA World Cup 2006 (April 2006), FIFA 06 (September 2006) and PES 6 (October 2006). It’s fair to say that all three games were poorly received. There is a case to be argued here that none of the above titles were running on new engines, and more importantly, developers have identified better ways to manage cross-generational transitions with forward planning. Thus, many of you could argue that good football games can be produced. Additionally, the new PES engine was designed to be scalable, i.e. it will utilise the hardware/resources available to provide the best experience possible. These are all valid points, but there is a lot more to it than simply building a new engine that is scalable and then you magically have better results on better hardware.

The new engine was developed by Konami with Next-Gen in mind, however, it was also built in order to benefit the huge install base of Current-Gen owners who may be late adopters of the PS4/Xbox One. Even with the ability of the new engine to scale to the better hardware of the Next-Gen systems, the game will still require various elements and assets to be updated. For example, all the assets such as player faces/textures and game-play programming/AI and so on must be updated over time to benefit from the superior hardware components available in Next-Gen consoles ultimately leading to a better overall experience. Furthermore, the development team must fine-tune the game to run on Next-Gen platforms with different architectures. This again requires considerable development time. Time that some may argue is better served refining the Current-Gen game to be the best it can be and providing Konami with a good platform moving forwards having impressed with PES 2014.

The Bigger Picture

There is no denying that the Next-Gen FIFA announcement by EA Sports at the Xbox One reveal has made the PES faithful slightly envious of the competition. It is important to realise that EA are a bigger company than Konami with more resources and finances available. EA are probably more comfortable launching a Next-Gen FIFA, even with a small install base since the company can afford to take financial risk. That risk may payoff for them particularly if they have invested heavily in the EA Sports Ignite Engine, spent years developing it, thus allowing them to build a platform and take an early lead in the Next-Gen football face-off.

Konami has a different strategy, one with the focus on providing the fans with the best footballing experience they can provide on Current-Gen for this season. In addition, they are also targeting a much wider audience with emerging markets such as South America and various parts in Asia. Comments by various members of the PES team lead us to believe that they would rather not release an average Next-Gen game now, instead taking the time to further develop the new engine and provide a truly Next-Gen experience with PES 2015.

There is no right or wrong answer, just a little disappointment for the PES fans who are early adopters of the PS4 and Xbox One. We live in a complicated world that often divides us with opinions and beliefs. But at least we have one thing in common, this beautiful game who all love to play and watch.

Join the discussion
  • Dubzy Dubstep

    1 hour :) Get ready xD

  • Arunabh Das

    Very well written. Now it just might cool down Next Gen PES fanatics. Waiting for pre-E3 reveal. Although I am a FIFA fan I hope PES 14 > FIFA 14 cause I play on the PC.

  • John Davidson

    PES looked quite good at the Pre-E3 show!!! But Kiefer Sutherland is Solid Snake!!!! The MGS5 feature stole the show! An open world Metal Gear Solid. I think I need a tissue.

  • Zado316

    Pes games have always had Pure shot in a way, in pes the players always take the ball into their stride especially in the older games, in fifa 13 they don’t, tried it in the arena n failed so many times, it only happens once in a while! Good to know EA noticed n changed it. All Pes lacked was proper ball physics.

  • Humble Man

    UNtil you realize blockbusters like MGSV and GTAV were ONLY announced for consoles and you WON’t play them this year, you don’t get games like Red Dead Redemption or any good fighting game that are exclusives to consoles, and consoles exlusives completely humilate PC-games (ike Diablo and those other retarded game that got poor scores on review, and a MASTERPIECE like The Last of Us as a GAME beats everything on PC this year with the highest score (96) on Metacritic, it’s the most desirable game right now and many PC gamers are desiring so much this game.

    Only on a good console like PS3 you get all the best games of this year: MGSV, Bioshock Infinte, The Last of Us, Beyond, GTAV. Three of them are multiplatform games and two of them were only announced for console, two of them are PS3 exclusives and one of these two is already the most amazing game of this year, a fantastic survival game that gamers have been waiting and wanting for so long.

    It’s all about GAMES, it’s all about having the best games and franchises avaliable on your platform, something that PC hasn’t. Take your fanboyism to somewhere else.

    PC is the best if you want to play PES and football games exclusively, then I would agree. But if you really are a GAMER and want to enjoy the best franchises of the gaming industry, that’ a matter of opinion, and the fact that games like GTAV and MGS5 were not announced for PC and the fact that a super consoles excusives games like RDR won’t come to PC, and the highest rated game of this year (The Last of Us) is a PS3 exclusive, all these facts lead me to believe that PC is not that superior compared to consoles as PC fanboys want evryone to believe. Sorry.

  • Dubzy Dubstep

    Well, of course that there are a few console games that I would like to play on PC, I admit that, games like Forza Motorsport, Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid, Burnout Paradise ( I am into racing games more than shooters and RPG you’ve mentioned, etc.)

    The games you’ve mentioned do not attract me. I never enjoyed GTA, Diablo, Bioshock, etc… Well, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good games, it’s just my preference.

    Consoles can’t beat a beast PC, that’s my opinion. I have an AMD FX-6300 clocked at 4 GHz with 6 cores, Corsair DDR3 8 GB clocked at 1866 MHz, Hard disks in total of 4 TB and a AMD HD 7770 1 GB video (pretty weak video, indeed, I will purchase a new card from AMD 8000 series this autumn, though).

    My CPU doesn’t get above 50% no matter what game I throw to it, from Metro 2033 Last Light to Crysis 1 and 2, Far Cry 2, F1 2012, DiRT 3, etc. My RAM is also sufficient, never got full. My video indeed is the weak component, but this autumn I will change it. The waiting is killing me you know xD

    Well, anyway, for a few games that I would play which are on consoles, I won’t buy a PS3 or and XBOX 360, though they aren’t expensive (they cost just around 150 euro – second hand, of course). PC FTW :))

  • Oscar Arias

    Smart choice by konami i would have done the same thing

  • jfmgunner

    Suff, brilliant as always, love to hear your input on PES on the site again, and also on the podcast. Konami is looking smarter and smarter with their strategy as we learn more about both games. As Suff says, Konami probably shouldn’t invest millions into a next gen game that possibly won’t even be played by 500,000 people- its just not smart. Focus on making the game played by millions as good as possible and then in a years time wow us with a game they’ve spent two years developing. In fact the new fox engine pes will have had 2 years development time when it’s released, and it only bodes well for it. It’s of course a patient strategy, but I am more excited about PES’s prospects this year than in a long time. I’m sure Fifa will do some great things, but admittedly what we have seen so far doesn’t have much next gen “wow-factor” at all. Looks slightly polished, that’s about it. But after we see some E3 gameplay of both games we can all take stock of the situation. But at least for now PES looks very well positioned to “out-Fox” the competition this year.

  • the ripper

    Time = money. Blah blah blah. Excuse after excuse. Business = supply and demand. Demand is high supply is non existent. Fact = Not good enough.

  • read only

    I like how you present facts but your conclusion reads like a sponsored article. Konami arent even in the current gen yet, as the producers themselves have admitted a number of times it all comes from the ps2. Every serious company knows that getting a head start is a huge deal and it makes no sense to keep developing for another year as you can’t preview what the public reaction to the game will be and it may, god forbid, suck. I mean, what’s stopping them from releasing an average game the next year when fifa already is learning from it’s mistakes? When you’re up against a company with a higher financial muscle you need to be pulling something out of your hat all the time to stay competitive, and magic boots and bad online are pretty much the other way around.

    As for emerging countries such as those in south America, Konami had them back in the ps2 days and now they’re gone, I live in Brazil and my buddy list it’s a 95 to 5% ratio of fifa vs pes. The only reason they might be reporting bigger sales against fifa is because they have legit distribution vs everyone importing fifa because it costs half the money.

    Huge setback for the franchise itself and for players favoring quality over fanboy-ism, because yet again EA gets a free pass to, if they wish, slack in their next installment. Maybe it’s about time another company gets in the market?

  • Zado316

    Where is demand high? PES’s largest markets (Emerging Markets)won’t be moving to next gen this year, majority won’t even move by next year. Europe n N. America are not PES’s main markets at the moment, n these are the markets which will have the fastest uptake/ switch to next gen cause of their purchasing power. GDP > $28,000 per capita, so even low income earners in these markets can/ still have $399 laying around for PS4 which happens to be the cheaper console, yet in countries like Brazil, China, the whole of Latin America, South Africa, Eastern Europe which are PES’s main markets ,……Mainly emerging markets, such money is harder to come by for ur average person. A decent number could probably afford these new consoles, but other expenses come first.

    KONAMi’s strategy is:
    1) win over gamers in developed countries/markets by having a strong show at E3
    2)win fans n soccer enthusiasts with PES 2014′s gr8 fluid gameplay n slick animations( I hope, fingers crossed) that increase immersion. Over the course of Fiscal year 2013-2014, PES 2014 will act as bait to lure soccer fans especially Fifa fans to the franchise.
    3) wait for a larger install base of next gen consoles to emerge over the corse of the year.
    4)Gain feedback n perfect the gameplay for next gen
    5) perfect the engine
    6) improve graphics……..

    We all want it to come to next gen, but willing buyers of PES on next gen are not enough, n mind u this is a multi billion dollar company that made this decision, so trust me, they have done their research! They won’t release the game just cause u n I want it!

  • BIGE888

    i think we can all agree here that we’d rather any developer take their time and not put out some half assed game. just like when the 360/ps3 first came out the pes/fifa were ok but definitely not up to par with even the current gen versions. seems like everyone learned their lesson though. for example what rockstar does with gta and irrational with bioshock infinite. i can handle delays if i know its just going to make the game better in the end.

  • AsimT

    Considering they sold around 6 million copies of PES 2013 worldwide, Konami would have to do something drastically awful to sell just 200,000 copies this year, especially as there IS a NEW engine, despite what you say.