Konami’s shift from console and PC to mobile continues with its latest iOS and Android release.
The publisher just launched PES Club Manager for smartphones and tablets. This free-to-play soccer-management simulation is the latest entry in the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise And although it is a mobile game where you are primarily trading and training players, it uses the same 3D engine that powers the PES 2015 console release. That should make for some beautiful spreadsheets. And beauty is something PES Club Manger will need to compete as it’s entering a space that developer Nordeus’s Top Eleven has dominated since late 2011.
This Pro Evo release comes at a time when Konami is canceling games like Silent Hills for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is instead looking to make money from smaller free-to-play releases on smart devices — that market is worth $30 billion — as opposed to traditional consoles and PC since those kinds of games require a bigger upfront investment.
PES Club Manager is out now around the world. Konami has already localized it for 18 different language markets, including U.K. English, French, and German. Featuring over 5,000 real licensed players, gamers must do whatever it takes to piece together a top squad to win.
To help PES Club Manager stand out, Konami is heavily emphasizing how its 3D visuals will add “drama.” And you’ll see the virtual match reflect and strategy changes you might make.
Soccer-management games are already an incredibly popular category on smartphones. The aforementioned Top Eleven hasn’t slowed down since if first came out. It is now the top-grossing iOS sports game in more than 52 countries. It is ranked in the top 5 in that category in 115 nations. This is after nearly four years on the market — Top Eleven debuted in November 2011.
Konami, with the familiar Pro Evolution Soccer brand, could make a dent in that space, but it’s also possible that Top Eleven’s momentum will never let PES Club Manager get its footing.