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Pro Evolution Soccer 2016

PES 2016: "The roster issue hit really hard"

Konami admits the lack of roster updates hurt sales.

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Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 was highly praised for several reasons, but mostly due to the quality of the gameplay, which many argued was more fun that FIFA 16. However, one of the biggest criticisms of players involved the lack of updated squads. The game was released with the 2014/2015 season rosters, and only months later were the updated for the season 2015/2016.

In an interview with Squawka, Konami's Adam Bhatti acknowledged that this issue ultimately affected sales of PES 2016:

"When PES 2016 hit, it felt like we were leading up to a fantastic moment, and we were hit really hard. The roster issue took the wind completely from our sails. It took us a lot of time to recover. What we learnt is not to mess up on the roster update ever again. If we do have issues, [we must] be able to quickly fix them and not make our consumers wait."

Konami will also create the official video game for EURO 2016, but it won't be an actual standalone product. The game will be sold in stores for PS3 and PS4, although what players will be paying is basicly PES 2016 with some extras, since all the EURO 2016 content will be introduced for free into the game.

Dispite being free, players are complaining about the lack of content. Only 15 of the 24 teams will be licensed, the only official stadium is the Stade de France, and there's no possibility to play in the qualifying stages, only in the final competition. Other elements, such as the official ball and the art of UEFA wil be present in the EURO 2016 mode, but for some players that's not enough. However, Bhatti reminded that there are some changes that will be introduced.

"There are certain licenses and certain stadiums that we can't get because [they're] owned by clubs, and those clubs will be in partnerships with [FIFA]. For the nine [unlicensed teams], we've worked with UEFA to make their kits look as close as possible, without having legal issues.

"You've got the official ball and all the ad boards, the Stade de France, and there's a single-player tournament, but every single player in the tournament will be in the squads. We're doing the biggest ever face update pack. We're adding nearly 200 faces, and the 200 faces are based on all of the teams in the Euros. For Russia we're adding 11 players, for Wales it's eight, for England it's 10... There's a lot of teams where the starting line-up will be extremely strong, and we'll have fantastic photo-realistic faces."

Adam Bhatti also spoke openly about the competition between FIFA and PES, recognising that both companies (Konami and EA) have two completely different approaches:

"If you look for an authentic football game with all the licences, there's only one winner. [We can't] fight them in that field. That's why we always focus on the gameplay - we want to be authentic on the pitch.

"The biggest issue we have is making sure that we can communicate that without getting on TV, and being on social media where all the footballers are being paid to say 'Great game! Love it! Banter, banter, play online, great goal mate!' It's a different kind of world. But, when people ask me about FIFA, I take it as a compliment. The way EA go after licences, how they market that game, it's a completely different planet to how PES is run."

You can read Adam Bhatti's full interview with Squawka right here.

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ARTICLE. Written by Mike Holmes

"It's even more troublesome to be overly negative once you get playing, because as per usual, Pro Evolution Soccer offers up supremely playable digital football."



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