With the release of FIFA 17 and PES 17 imminent, it is time for EA and Konami to renew their rivalry. Over the years, the two football games have given each other some real stiff competition. However, by margins big or huge, FIFA has always emerged as the popular one. No matter what Konami did, it could never dethrone EA. Things looked to have changed when PES 16 got better reviews than FIFA 16. However, when the sales reports started coming in, FIFA still was more popular.So why is PES lagging behind FIFA even though it has the exclusive rights for the UEFA Champions league? Let us take a look at what is plaguing Konami and PES
HISTORY OF ROBOTIC GAMEPLAY
Before PES 16, you could’ve played any PES game and you would’ve found one thing in common, a lack of feel. The gameplay felt too robotic. On the other hand, the gameplay of FIFA felt faster and more fluid. There was a distinct, realistic vibe to FIFA’s gameplay. It was a damaging thing that PES’s better graphics couldn’t hide. Konami addressed this issue in PES 16. However, 20 years of bad history can’t be wiped out in a single game.
LICENSING & EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS
The fact that EA is ready to invest more money than Konami is a major reason for FIFA’s higher popularity. The fact that FIFA has an exclusive deal with more than 90% of the clubs. This means that instead of iconic clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal etc. we have Merseyside Red, London FC and North London FC. As if this was not enough, clubs like Borrusia Dortmund, VFL Wolfsburg etc. are absent altogther. This acts as a major spoil sport for a major population in the gaming community. The end result is lesser sales.
As if lagging behind in club licensing was not enough, PES doesn’t even have rights for majority of the leagues as well. While Konami has the exclusive rights for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa leagues, the only popular football league it has license to is the Seria A. This effects its brand value to a huge extent. When it comes to viewership, the EPL and La Liga are the most watched leagues. With them absent along with the Bundeliga, Konami is losing a huge chunk of the pie.
Another thing that has hampered PES’s popularity over the years is its player licensing terms. Instead of signing a deal with FIFPro, PES instead opts for license players through clubs. This creates a major problem because now, Konami can’t put players from unlicensed clubs in PES. This reduces the pool of players available in PES. The fact that some major absentees are also there is a further let down. FIFA played smart with this thing. By having a FIFPro license, it can have players from unlicensed teams and leagues. The final result is that PES has a fraction of the players that are available in FIFA.
LACK OF MARKETING
One thing that EA is a master of is marketing. The amount of marketing it does is simply outstanding. If you have ever watched a football match, you will notice that most of the billboards are advertising FIFA. Yes, Konami doesn’t have league rights or exclusivity rights with most of the clubs. But even with the clubs with which it has, it chooses not to advertise. Even in the UEFA Champions League, Konami is absent. Why it doesn’t market PES remains a mystery to me, but why FIFA is more popular is not.
PES DOESN’T HAVE ULTIMATE TEAM
One of FIFA’s USP is its Ultimate Team feature. Most of the gamers buy FIFA for the sole reason of playing Ultimate Team. While PES continues without a similar feature, FIFA keeps surging forward in the popularity charts. Why Konami is not developing a similar feature is beyond me. MyClub is good but it is no Ultimate Team. Konami needs to either modify it or come up with something new. Unless and until it comes up with something similar, Konami ought get used to EA looking down at it.
Here are some of the reasons we feel make FIFA more popular. Did we miss out any? Or do you feel that there are more reasons? Do let us know in the comments section. Till then, keep watching this space for more such articles.