PES 2021 Is A Smaller Update As Series Prepares To Leave Behind Metal Gear's FOX Engine

Konami didn't make it clear what fans should expect from this year's PES entry but has big plans for its future.

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Pro Evolution Soccer 2021 will be a smaller "season update," says publisher Konami, as the series starts a transition from the in-house FOX Engine to Unreal Engine 5 in 2021.

PES has been using the FOX Engine for most of the generation, but this year's entry will be the last. Konami explained in a press release that PES 2021 will be a "streamlined offering," leading some to believe that it would be an update or DLC to eFootball PES 2020. Konami has since clarified (via PC Gamer) that PES 2021 will still be a standalone release but did not detail what that means in terms of content and pricing.

"However, the sheer scale of everything we are aiming to achieve for our next-gen debut has made it necessary to pare back our efforts in other areas of development," the statement reads. "As a result, we have made the decision to launch this year's PES as a streamlined offering in the form of a 'season update'".

Moving to Unreal Engine for PES 2022 will allow the football game to achieve a new level of detail and realism, according to Konami. It also presumably takes pressure off Konami's internal terms working on the FOX Engine, instead opting to use Unreal Engine 5 as the game makes the jump to next-generation consoles. The FOX Engine also powered Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, before being used exclusively for the football franchise.

Konami says it expects the game to go into testing in the middle of 2021, which is when Unreal Engine 5 is expected to be available to developers too. Epic Games recently detailed the enhancements of Unreal Engine 5 and what it offers to developers with a striking gameplay demo.

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