It really shouldn’t come as any surprise that a few hours ago, Konami posted a tweet announcing a delay to version 1.0.0 of eFootball 2022. They were already running behind schedule on version 0.9.1, which did drop tonight, so we knew more delays would follow. However, I didn’t think they would push the game to Spring 2022.
A six-month delay
That’s a pretty long delay. Spring 2022 means anywhere between the end of March and the beginning of June. I seriously thought they would move everything to the end of January. Use the next two months to fix the major issues, then wait for the winter transfer window to close so they could have current rosters for players to enjoy with.
But, moving the game to Spring hurts Konami on multiple fronts. There is no reason to play eFootball. Sure, they updated the game (at the time of this blog, I haven’t tried it) but how many players will actually stick around? I haven’t touched the game since I shared my quick thoughts. Now, I really have no reason to see how the game is progressing considering there are at least six months until we can actually play the full game.
I am also curious how much damage this does to Konami with regards to its partnerships with clubs and players, both current and future ones. Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, and many more probably had expectations that Konami would deliver a quality product. The cross-marketing probably meant more for Konami but those clubs still benefit from the relationship in various ways. I suspect they are probably looking if they can walk away from their deals. A few years ago, Borussia Dortmund terminated their partnership with Konami two years early. While the reasons were never made public, I could see the other ones ending their deals with the cause.
I don’t see how they win back the community
This announcement happened conveniently when most of Europe was asleep, so the response on the various eFootball/PES subreddits is quiet. I suspect that in a few hours when people wake up to the news, we’re going to see a lot of anger from the most vocal people in those communities. Unfortunately, I don’t know how Konami fixes this strained relationship. The negative sentiment to version 0.9.0 was bad and it didn’t seem like there was much effort put into making things right.
Yes, delaying the game was the right thing to do. But, the lack of communication around what players can expect between version 0.9.1 tonight and version 1.0.0 in Spring is disappointing. As I mentioned, I see no reason to play the game until next year and Konami really hasn’t done anything to change my mind. I feel bad for those involved and I wish them the best of luck. Thankfully, they don’t have a person who really serves as their voice of the game (a front-facing community manager or lead developer), so they won’t get the unfair abuse that would ultimately come their way.