Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 will introduce microtranscations to the game with its new MyClub mode — essentially an answer to FIFA's Ultimate Team mode — a decision that didn't sit well with some PES lifers. The head of the U.K. studio Konami created to assist with the football title spoke to IGN to explain the mode.
Basically, MyClub makes the same proposition that other games do where there's an in-game currency that can be bought for real-world money. "If you don't have a lot of time, then with microtransactions you can go buy a lot of players that you want," said James Cox, explaining that the currency to acquire players for MyClub also will be earned through normal, free play in the game.
"The idea is that we're trying to just give the players the choice of what they want to do. Some people have more time, some people have more money."
MyClub is an extension of the series Master League career mode and is, like ultimate teams, about acquiring and managing a diverse roster of players to form a unique side.
Microtransactions, in the form of buying lots of currency, have been common to sports video games since the introduction of Ultimate Team in FIFA several years ago. These modes have driven a lot of revenue to publishers, with Electronic Arts crediting them for large growth and Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of 2K Sports, calling them a vital part of their revenue picture the past fiscal year.
Their use has kicked up some controversy, though; NBA 2K14 expanded the presence of its "Virtual Currency" into singleplayer modes of the game, where players were spending it to make some rather common decisions in team management, for example. Though regular play consistently paid out amounts that could cover those choices, it limited a player's ability to simulate portions of an 82-game season, as doing so returned no currency payoff.
For Konami's part, Cox said that PES 2015's "Game Points" can be used to acquire exactly the player one wants. "The exact final mechanic is all still being tuned, but yes - if you want to buy Ronaldo, one way or another, you will be able to do that. And you will be happy with what you spend your money on."
For more on Pro Evolution Soccer 2015, see Polygon's preview from E3 2014.