Konami wants to give everyone a chance to prove they are the best digital-soccer star in the world.
The publisher is launching PES 2017 Trial Edition this week on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PC. This is a free-to-play version of the well-regarded soccer simulation, but the Trial Edition focuses more on the game’s PES League esports division. Without spending any money, players can use the Trial Edition to compete in the PES League for a chance to take on other competitors around the world. Konami has operated PES League for the last several years, and now it wants to open that up to a wider audience than ever before in an effort to establish the soccer game as a force in a competitive-gaming market that’s worth $493 million, according to industry-intelligence firm Newzoo.
This is part of Konami’s ongoing shift away from traditional game development toward mobile and free-to-play. The company is not focusing its development efforts on traditional console games anymore outside of Metal Gear Solid and PES. Instead, the game maker has spent the last two years canceling Silent Hills and releasing games like Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links and Bomberman Competition on mobile platforms.
With PES 2017 Trial Edition, however, Konami is attempting to maximize the potential reach of its console and PC soccer game. In this version, players will have access to nine fully licensed teams. You can use those squads to compete in exhibition matches offline, but the real draw here is to get online with the PES League and compete. Players need to go to the PES League official website to sign up, and then all they need to do is to download the free game and enter in their personal details for a chance to prove they are the best. PES League 2017 kicks off in December.
Not all of the biggest esports games are free-to-play but most are. League of Legends and Dota 2 have massive audiences for their pro-gaming tournaments, and that’s partially due to how easy those games are to access for their millions of players around the globe that can download them for free and can run them on low-end gaming rigs. PES 2017 Trial Edition has higher processing requirements on PC than some other free-to-play games, but it is also launching on console. And since this is a controller-based game (as opposed to mouse-and-keyboard), players should have skill parity across all platforms.