Konami eSports: Too Little, Too Late


FIFA Interactive World Cup 2016 In NYC (Photo: FIWC)

TNL Take: At the end of this year, I'm going to compile a list of everything I've written which was then followed up by some very timely news.

Last Friday August 19th, I looked at "EA KILLING KONAMI IN SOCCER ESPORTS" and there had been no news on Pro Evolution Soccer 2017's plans.

Until this past Tuesday August 23rd.

Even then there were no details and only a quote that told you everything you needed to know:

“As the PES series continues to go from strength to strength, we are exploring a number of ways to build its reputation within the eSports sector.  Later this year we will be integrating the hugely popular PES League element as a dedicated mode within PES 2017 and future iterations, allowing organised competitions to become easily accessible to absolutely anyone owning a PES title.”

-Jonas Lygaard, Senior Director of Brand and Business Development at Konami Digital Entertainment B.V

I've highlighted the key words.  Having been around the Gaming space long enough, those words are deadly.

Game development is extremely difficult. 

Game development on a yearly basis like Sports titles are even more difficult.  

And it's not like Call of Duty which switches developers every year - EA Tiburon puts out Madden every year. 

Every. Single. Year.

I can probably take a guess on what happened here:

Senior Exec: We need an eSports plan.

Pro Evo Soccer Design Lead: We're halfway through development.

Senior Exec: We need an eSports plan.

Shoehorning in features or not thoroughly testing risky new features can be a game's death.  EA themselves know this all too well. 

EA cancelled NBA Live 11  - after it had shipped to stores. We don't live in a time anymore where you can bury bad games in a desert.

Now we have YouTube:

If you believe in these five things:

/01 eSports has a long term future potential

/02 Soccer intrinsically is easy to understand

/03 The Global audience potential

/04 The opportunities with traditional Soccer

/05 You make a lot more $$$ being a Publisher

You'd be crazy not to invest further into eSports.


I won't even try to outline potential ways that Pro Evo could have placed their eSports stake.  Whether EA or Konami release the better game, plenty of people will pontificate.

On the eSports side, it's Game Over and the EA team can celebrate with a pint down the pub.

Or six.