Six months after its disastrous debut, Konami’s eFootball 2022 is ready to try again

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eFootball 2022 was in a very sorry state when it launched last year. Not as historically catastrophic as it’s sometimes portrayed, but “slow and fiddly,” we said in our 30% review, and more importantly nowhere near complete: “What we’re playing right now is actually just a public beta with an accompanying PR disaster.”

The idea, you see, was to rebrand Pro Evolution Soccer to eFootball, make it free to play, and launch with a very limited feature set and team selection, and then add more as optional, paid DLC. It may sound reasonable on paper but the dearth of content, coupled with some serious technical issues, led to a massive backlash on Steam, an apology from Konami, and a delay of the 1.0 release, which had been planned for November 11, 2021, into spring 2022.

Today Konami finally announced when the 1.0 release is going to happen—April 14—and what it will include: Changes to defending controls, passing improvements, additional shooting trajectories, “strategic evolution through improved dribbling functionality”—that one feels worthy of a direct quote—and improved online stability. A number of smaller additional features and changes have been worked in, “to bring back some beloved functionalities and fix some issues,” and overall responsiveness should be better thanks to processing improvements.

The 1.0 version of eFootball 2022 will also add the team customization mode Creative Team, which has been renamed to Dream Team and changed considerably from Konami’s original plan—although exactly how wasn’t revealed.

“We will continue to work on game improvement and updates beyond v1.0.0 to bring the best soccer experience to more and more fans,” Konami said. “As always, your valued feedback is much appreciated.”

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The big question for Konami is whether it can turn eFootball 2022 around at this very late stage. The day after it first launched on Steam, Rich opined that it didn’t actually deserve to be the worst-reviewed game on Steam (a title it has since relinquished to War of the Three Kingdoms), but even so, overcoming the inertia of more than 24,000 negative user reviews is going to be a real chore.

Full details on the eFootball 2022 1.0 release will be shared on April 14, when it goes live. Unfortunately for anyone looking forward to the mobile version of the game, that remains in the works—an announcement about its release will be made soon.

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