MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 30: Atmosphere during the Italy eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 Team Selection at BASE Milano on September 30, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

When it comes to sports video games Madden, NBA2k and FIFA are the holy trinity. In fact, in the grand scheme none of these franchises even have rivals worth speaking of. But that may have changed with the re-branding and release of Konami’s Football video game, eFootball. Once known as Pro-Evolution Soccer, Konami put the game through an overhaul as it was always seen as lesser version of FIFA.

But is eFootball any better than it was as PES? It doesn’t seem like it.

The new eFootball game does have a few good qualities to it that FIFA gamers might be excited to hear. The first is that eFootball is going to be free to play. That might not seem like that big of a deal as the buy in for FIFA is a one-time fee of $60. But, in the world of esports being free-to-play is a huge factor to player growth.

When you look at the top tier esports across the industry, nearly every single one of them is free-to-play. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive went to free-to-play a few years ago and has seen unprecedented growth, especially when you consider how old the game is. So, eFootball being free-to-play could see it’s player base grow larger than what Pro-Evolution Soccer had seen.

One of the other big differences between eFootball and FIFA is lootboxes and player packs. Both games will require and rely on players buying packs of randomized players, but in FIFA you can get duplicates out of the pack. With eFootball, it might be a bit different. Currently, you can pre-order some special packs that won’t give out duplicates, which means you can get the top 16 players for a minimum of $80. While that’s still a large chunk of change, it could be even higher if kept getting the same players over and over.

Outside of that, Konami’s eFootball does come with it’s own issues that may turn players off before they even decided if they want to give it a chance. The game is not launching with cross-play or cross-progression enable. So, who you’re playing and where your progression is saved based on what you’re playing on is already a big limiting factor. On top of that, the game is riddled with pre-order and microtransaction based deals that you can’t even use until much later.

Those packs we mentioned that don’t have duplicates in them might seem nice, but anyone who pays the money for them now can’t actually open them until November. Going free-to-play was a good move by Konami, but FIFA is such an ingrained institution in the world of English Football even outside of just the video games. It’s going to take a lot more than a free game if they want to compete with FIFA.

Feature Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images