You could be forgiven for thinking that gaming used to be so much simpler. For example, if you go back 10 years ago, the thinking man’s football game was PES 5 rather than the FIFA franchise many thought was just a shameless annual cash-in.
Sure PES has never been the prettiest of games and even though they struggled to compete with a lack of licenses, meaning players had names such as Roberto Larcos (Roberto Carlos) and Van Moostelroom (Van Nistelrooy) the majority of football fans were very forgiving because they preferred the ball physics and gameplay.
Who needs bright lights, fancy menus and glossy intros and another 7-0 victory on FIFA when you can grind out a realistic 1-0 victory over your best friend in the most authentic football experience you could ever enjoy on a games console or PC.
Arguably after PES 6, Konami quite literally took their eye off the ball and EA seized the moment to dramatically improve the FIFA series. Meanwhile PES ran into problems and eventually, even the previously untouchable Seasbass began facing heavy criticism.
Several years on and only the old faithful continue to champion Pro Evolution Soccer, whilst many other gamers have been burnt one too many times with bugs, glitches and core gameplay leaving the people’s champion on the ropes.
Last year’s offering did not make the next generation of consoles, but was a decent return to form. Still, if PES 2015 has any chance of returning to its former glory, it needs to bring out something quite spectacular. It’s with this realisation that I am somewhat baffled at the timing of today’s announcement that PES 2015 will begin using micro transactions in MyClub Mode.
“If you don’t have a lot of time, then with microtransactions you can go buy a lot of players that you want,” Cox told IGN.
“But you also can earn Game Points in the mode and other parts of PES as well. We’re trying to link things together so you can progress and build your team [normally]. The idea is that we’re trying to just give the players the choice of what they want to do. Some people have more time, some people have more money. Some people have a bit of each! Either way, you’ll have the choice.”
This recent announcement was followed by obvious backlash and Konami were quick to insist that PES 2015 microtransactions will be entirely optional. Much like the purchase of the game itself, this has prompted some PES Lifers to announce they will be voting with the wallets upon release day.
Announcing that last years release was only “half done” then following up by announcing this years release will feature microtransactions was never going to please existing fans or bring in new punters. Which makes this possibly the worst promotional campaign in history.
It’s interesting to note that some publishers actually think gamers either have an abundance of time or an endless pot of disposable income and that’s the basis of their sales strategy. You could be forgiven for thinking that you would need to invest both time and money to have any chance of searching for the players you need with their bizarre naming conventions.
Konami continue to insist that PES 2015 microtransactions are all about giving players ‘the choice, and Cox was also quick to add that “microtransactions in PES 2015 won’t be a case of blind buying” and explained that the “general principle is that you will be able to buy the players you want.”
However he did admit that the final mechanic is still being tuned, but attempted to assure football fans by saying
“if you want to buy Ronaldo, one way or another, you will be able to do that. And you will be happy with what you spend your money on.“
On a positive note, this sounds slightly different to EA’s Ultimate Team, which seems designed to make you part with cash very quickly as you desperately open 30 gold packs in search of Ronaldo, only to find yet another Matt Jarvis card.
Possibly the two biggest gaming debates each year are coming head to head as the annual ‘FIFA vs PES’ arguments begin with nobodies favourite topic ‘Microstransactions’ but what are your thoughts?
Is this just another knee jerk reaction? Is there really a place for microtransactions in games? Can PES return to its former glory or did this announcement just make PES 2015 irrelevant to you?