Asim’s thoughts on PES 2016’s roster update saga…
So the data pack/roster update is now out, but the transfers are only accurate up until 30th August. That means any moves made by players on 31st August and 1st Spetember (window closed at 6pm in the UK) are not present in the game. Even taking out the fact that the update has come almost six weeks after the release of PES 2016, this is (as I said originally) completely unacceptable for a modern sports game. High profile transfers like Anthony Martial to Manchester United (one of the licensed teams in the game) are not reflected with this update. There are plenty more too. Someone told me 99% of the transfers are correct (still not an acceptable figure), but given that many deals happen on the last two days around the world I’d imagine that’s not accurate at all.
As I type this I’m being bombarded with tweets from unhappy people (paying customers), and I completely understand their frustration. In fact, I’m with you guys in acknowledging that this is inexcusable. I’ve been vocal about PES 2016 being very good (it still is), shouting from the virtual rooftops about it, so it’s only fair an issue/blunder like this be highlighted as well. It’s a crying shame given the quality of the game, but it’s seemingly minor things like this that make it hard for many people to transition from FIFA to PES. Whatever you think about EA’s game, they are always on point with stuff like this.
There’s this perception that Konami are the bumbling fools whereas EA are the professional ones. With incidents like this happening regularly, it’s hard to argue with that sentiment. It’s frustrating though as I know many hard working people at Konami, yet this type of thing impacts them and (more importantly) the product negatively. It’s sad to say, but until issues like are sorted and not seen as the norm, very few people outside the hardcore PES fan base will take it seriously as an alternative to FIFA. Harsh, but true.
Note: This is purely an opinion piece on PES 2016’s delayed roster update. It’s not about the quality of the game. If you want to read my review it, please click here. Finally, I shouldn’t need to state this, but I will. All thoughts are my own and influenced by no other individual(s).
As I sit in my room writing this, on 25th October, it’s been more than a month since the release of PES 2016 in the UK. Five weeks and two days to be exact. In the gaming world that is a long period of time. Since its release, Ubisoft has launched another Assassin’s Creed (with two day one patches), plus Rock Band and Guitar Hero have made a return. Oh and Halo 5 is about to come out. See, told you, it’s a long time in this industry. However, when it comes to PES 2016, Konami has yet to release a patch that would update the severely out of date rosters in the game. That, even if you love the series, is bitterly disappointing and (to put it bluntly) inexcusable.
Konami announced the delay to the roster update a week after PES 2016 launched, stating it will be available 29th October, on (wait for it) the same day FIFA 16 (their direct competitor) came out in the UK. You couldn’t make it up. Unbelievable. I remember the day vividly as my Twitter notifications went crazy, with angry fans tweeting me all sorts. There was plenty of abuse, mainly because I’m close to the series and someone who works on the game, but I chose to (mostly) brush that to one side. It’s the Internet after all. That’s not the point of this piece though. I’m not here to say some of the tweets and posts were unacceptable (they were), it’s more about giving my opinion on the situation after the streams of boiled piss have mostly come to a halt.
The abuse aside, I can actually understand people’s anger. It’s not the end of the world or anything, but I can understand. Buying any sports game, let alone PES 2016, and having to play with a year old rosters for over a month is just something that should not be happening. FIFA 16 had a downloadable roster update available immediately, even its trial version. NBA 2K16 features a newly designed court/arena that hasn’t been officially shown in a competitive league match yet! It’s crazy. In a world where day one updates and patches are commonplace, paying customers shouldn’t have to wait this long. It shouldn’t be any more complicated as a team doing all the necessary transfers and then pushing them out on live servers for everyone to download. Done, but that’s not the case here.
Worse of all it hinders enjoyment of the game’s main single player mode, Master League. I know many people (me included) who are still waiting to start their campaign because of this huge delay. It’s infuriating because the game itself is so good. Currently sitting pretty with an 88 Metacritic score, PES 2016 deserves all the praise it’s received (I love it too), but this situation leaves a sour taste in the mouth of fans across the world. This is why people, fans and paying customers are angry. Sure, you can go into edit mode and do all the transfers yourself, but you shouldn’t need to. You can understand the situation with kits, it’s Konami locked out of licenses by EA. That’s fine. The community gets that; hence the great work from sites like PES World and PES Universe. This roster update thing, well, it’s something else entirely.
What’s the deal then? What exactly happened? Well, it’s hard to know for sure. Right now, the majority of fans think it’s down to a lack of planning on Konami’s part. I’ve seen the “typical Konami” line on Twitter and forums probably around a few thousand times now. It’s a shame to see that sentiment being thrown around by people, but it’s justified. How can you look at what’s happened with the roster update delay and think anything else given Konami’s recent history with PES? The simple answer is you can’t. Given the game was released in November last year with a day one update, the lack of planning theory makes the most sense to me. Perhaps it’s as simple that. It sounds silly, but maybe someone forgot the game was launching a couple of months earlier this year. If so, that’s poor. It’s a strange one though, because when I was reviewing the game I was told there would be a day one roster update. That would mean something went wrong between then (shortly after gamescom) and the launch of PES 2016. Hmm, this could be a case for Mulder and Scully.
The other theory is that it’s some sort of technical issue in regards to how the data works. Personally, I don’t think that’s it, but if it is then someone at Konami needs to pipe up and make the update process a simpler one. Seriously, as I said earlier, it shouldn’t be any more complicated than a team updating data at their end and then pushing it through the public servers. It’s how all modern sports games work! That’s why, whatever the reason, it’s inexcusable. Hopefully someone at Konami knows what the issue is now. If so, whether it’s a simple mistake or technical issue, they need to make sure it doesn’t happen again with PES 2017. Delay the game if need be. Just don’t make the same mistake twice. Oh and if it does, don’t use the gameplay quality as a shield to hide behind and deflect amateur-looking mistakes like this.