PES Vs FIFA - Games Weekly

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Sunday, October 12, 2014


Since 2000, EA’s yearly juggernaut has won the sales war against Konami. In the wake of the rivals’ launch this year, we thought we’d level the playing field and  ask the developers behind both games the  same questions…

How has the community influenced the development process of this year’s games?

Sebastian Enrique, EA, producer 
A lot of our new features this year have come from the community for example, our goalkeepers have been the subject of criticism every year. Going through the forums, looking online, you’d see people just saying "fix the keepers, fix the keepers, fix the keepers." We had a vision for the keepers that we couldn’t do [last-gen]: we didn’t have the processing power, we didn’t have the memory. The keeper is one of the most difficult positions to build the AI for, so when we got to know [the PS4 and Xbox One], we started re-working the keepers right away. Right now, we’re finally at a state where they’re ready the community asked for it, and we supplied.

Adam Bhatti, Konami, PES European Brand Manager
Our focus is gameplay. I truly believe, and this might be me wearing rose-tinted glasses, that PES 5 and PES 6 are still truly great football games, and that they were truly stunning for their time. They are timeless games. Basically, I just want the fans to stop saying to us that “PES 5 and 6 are the best PES games ever,” because it’s been a while since those were released, and  we really want to put those games into history and move forward and bring out a new PES game that is considered the best ever.

What has been done to improve the responsiveness of the game on the new generation of hardware?

Sebastian Enrique, EA, producer
Responsiveness, this year, was the one thing we wanted to improve over any other. To do that, you need to break down lots of games elements: locomotion, get-ups, animations; I can give you a list, but it will never be comprehensive. Because we have all different age groups playing the game, and different people from all over the world, we also needed to make sure we made the game presentable to everyone. The graphics have taken a huge leap forward, and we’ve made it so everyone from people who play it [professionally] to people that get together with friends on a Friday night can enjoy FIFA 15 in the same way.

Adam Bhatti, Konami, PES European Brand Manager
Making you feel as though you have total control is the most important thing, allowing you to feel that the gameplay’s responsive  and instinctive, and that every game is different. We can’t just take PES 5 and 6, make them HD and charge £50; we have to do much more than that, but we have to look at the key elements that made those games so special.

PES has always been known for its quality of movement, too. That’s something we’ve been working hard to get right in PES 2015.

How do you gather data for each player in the game?

Sebastian Enrique, EA, producer
We have an army of around 2,000 people located in numerous places in the world, and they go to every match you can imagine. They are experts on their own particular league some of which are reviewers and some are aiders. The reviewers will watch matches and, over time, give out attributes depending on a player’s aptitude [in different areas].

Our team in Cologne then runs software that balances it all out because, obviously, the stats in the Premier League will have to be better than those in the Colombian League, for example. We make sure all the players are balanced, all the leagues are balanced, and it’s a lot of statistics to decide on. And the work doesn’t stop there we keep on updating it even after we ship.

Klaus Garner, Konami, assistant producer

This year, we’re crowd-sourcing all of the content relating to players and teams from local football experts around the world. We have given [Mario] Götze a ‘ball control’ stat of 94, ‘finishing’ 84, ‘dribbling’ 90, ‘short passing’ 88 and ‘passing technique’ 90. All of these stats have been deciphered from real data from his performances last season. He’s not great at everything though, so his stats for jumping, tackling etc are not very good.

For the first time in a football game, we have different strategies for home and away teams, so your teamwill play a different kind of football depending on whether they’re home or away. A lot of teams play a lot deeper when playing away, so you’ll see that in the game, too.

How do you differentiate yourself from your rival franchise?

Sebastian Enrique, EA, producer
I’ve been working with FIFA for more than nine years. The public and the critics were saying ‘Oh, FIFA’s a good game, but PES is a great game’ back then. When we transitioned to PS3 and X360, we had a strong vision of what we wanted the game to be it was FIFA 10 that really changed the loyalties of some people.

We look at PES like we look at Assassin’s Creed, Call Of Duty and Battlefield. You can learn things from any game. We look after our own house: if I know I have to fix the ceiling, I don’t want to know about how good the ceiling next door is. I respect Konami, I respect PES, and I know how hard it is to make a good football game, so I hope they do well, because then we have more competition, and that’s something else that can push us forward!

Klaus Garner, Konami, assistant producer

We have a game that lets you play real football; you can play counter attacking, possession, long-ball… which you can’t do in [FIFA], where it’s more  like ping-pong.

Adam Bhatti, Konami, PES European Brand Manager

FIFA is all about scoring goals, they want to get you to that moment. That’s not a bad thing, a lot of people just want to be able to score goals and have their lobbed-through ball work every time.

The thing with PES is this… in the past we’ve made a mistake in trying to be known as the connoisseur’s football game. We still are that, I think we’ve proved that with our understanding of the sport . At the same time as being the connoisseur’s game we don’t want to end up excluding people.

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