Back in the PS2’s heyday, Pro Evolution Soccer was the king of footballing franchises, with main competitor FIFA trailing behind year after year. Things soon changed come this generation; now FIFA is on the top spot, and Pro Evo has seemingly drifted further away as newer editions come out.
PES publisher Konami are insistent that while they may not retake the commercial success the series once enjoyed, they can close the gap between the two games quality-wise. UK GM Pete Stone told MCV: “I don’t think there’s a massive gap in terms of playability [between PES and FIFA]. There are certain areas we need to improve, but it’s not a huge gap – and we’re gradually closing it,”
However Stone remains realistic about the series’ future performance: “We may not outsell FIFA, but we can sell enough so that it’s good from our point of view. Don’t think of it as a battle where we’re trying to ‘win’, or outsell them, because that’s not necessarily the case.
“We’ve made progress and that’s beginning to be noticed, but we’re also going to spend a few years rebuilding PES and sales. It’s a long process.”
Perhaps we’ll see another shift in the balance come next generation then.