Dear Konami…

Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 is a masterful football sim but unforgivable blunders by Konami have ruined the game for many fans.

Screenshot of PSG face off again Bourissa Mochegladbach on PES 2016

Konagi, you’re home to one of the most beloved football sims ever to grace home gaming, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES). Whilst being the choice of most gamers during the 6th generation consoles, PES struggled in the next generation on the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles, falling far behind its closest rival, FIFA. However, so far on the 8th generation consoles, you have gotten to grips with the systems and with the fox engine first implemented PES 2015 eaten up distance between PES and its direct competitor FIFA.

The latest game PES 2016, has successfully surpassed its rival according to many reviewers including IGN, who gave PES 2016 9.5/10 and FIFA 16 7.8/10. also gave PES 2016 a higher score than its counterpart, scoring an 87 out of 100 meanwhile FIFA 16 scored an 82 out of 100. PES had successfully pulled away from FIFA, the gameplay is unrivalled, online issues have been fixed and forgotten game modes (Master League) have been rejuvenated, you were on course for one of your greatest ever achievements, producing one of the truly greatest footballing sims of all time. Fans of PES series are can be compared to faithful Liverpool supporters who also go into the new season believing things will be different from the last, clinging onto nostaligia like a Ronda Rousey armbar. But all those times reminiscing seem to be at an end until an unlikely slip up derailed all their great work after getting in such a dominant position. Sorry Liverpool fans for bringing back the Steven Gerrard slip but it is effectively what you Konami have done. You have made a masterful football sim but not having an updated roster is frankly unforgivable, something even the worst and the laziest sports games get right.

PES 16 was launched on September 15th in North America and on the 17th of the same month in Europe. The summer transfer window across Europe had closed for more than two weeks by the time of the games release but yet the squad list bared no reflection of the summer activity. This caused obvious disappointment to fans, but an DLC was expected the following week to update the rosters. A slight setback, which would have meant its squad will be updated on the same day as FIFA 16 was to be released; some coincidence. September 24th came and fans were told an offline update won’t be available until the 29th October. A full 6 weeks after the games initial release! Quite simply this is embarrassing and unacceptable for a modern sports game, where downloadable rosters are simply the norm. Yet that has not been the case here, it should be a case where the necessary transfers are implemented then pushed onto public servers for everyone to download. Things got from bad to worse, as the update that was expected to update the rosters ultimately failed to do so, making fans wait longer to play with an updated roster offline. For most fans that meant coming to terms with the possibility of playing Master League or MyClub with an outdated squad list for foreseeable future.

On the 2nd November you released a statement vaguely meandering around the details of why offline and online are separate systems (squads have been up to date for online since October 1st) and also taking the time apologising to fans. If you have two systems then why can’t the data be transferred from the online system to the offline if that is the case? But yet still to this day (Friday 13th November 15') fans are still without a fully updated offline roster which begs the question if you are still serious about this game. The letter also states that you “have learnt from this situation, and confirm designs to improve situations like these are currently being considered for future products,” I honestly hope you learnt from the many mismanagements that have plagued this great game and I certainly hope this is not a corporate ploy to abandon the series.

I simply cannot understand why things have unfolded as they have done. The main component of a sports game is for players to play with their favourite players from their favourite teams on their chosen game modes and this is where PES 2016 have failed miserably despite the marvels you managed to accomplished in gameplay. It many fans feel this game is just an update to the previous game and not a new game that customers were promised when they paid for it; which has left a lot of fans including me deeply disappointed and most of all, frustrated.

The fact is that PES 16 does everything great, it plays great, has great online and offline modes which will keep fans interested until the next one arrives (if it does) but has been let down by the simplest thing when making a sports game, getting the teams right. Hopefully you learnt their lesson for next time around and if the squads are not ready then fans will not mind a slight delay until everything is in working order and we have a fully operating game that is not compromised. I am only writing this letter as I am truly in awe of the game you have made, any normal title I would have traded it in with a whim and just cross it off in my mind as a failed choice, which is why I am so frustrated because I do not think I made a mistake with your game. You have brought back the feel of the PS2 days which has been lacking for several editions, you made the comeback no one thought possible, only to concede a goal in stoppage time.

Thank you for taking your time to read my letter and I hope you consider what I have said.

Yours Sincerely,

Thomas Walton