Konami announced on Friday that the soccer game’s first major patch — version 0.9.1, it should be said — will be delayed from its original Oct. 28 launch to some point in early November. No reason was given for the delay.
Whatever the cause, it means Steam’s worst-reviewed game (by its players) of all time will remain in the same janktastic state it’s been since launch. That includes visual glitches, broken AI, stuttering animations, and other performance issues that drew overwhelmingly negative responses from players, both longtime and recent.
eFootball is the former Pro Evolution Soccer/Winning Eleven franchise going back to 2001. Konami skipped a year after publishing eFootball PES 2020 in 2019, then took the franchise free-to-play with Unreal Engine 4 this year.
The plan was always to release a base game followed by larger, popular gameplay modules, such as the Ultimate-Team style Master League, and the single-player career Be a Legend. eFootball launched with two modes of play: a local single or multiplayer match, using one of only nine teams, and “challenge events” playable against AI or other players online.
But practically no post-launch roadmap could inspire confidence when such meager offerings came strewn with comical visual gaffes and humiliating glitches. The plans called for cross-platform play, online leagues and “team building mode” (both names still TBA), and a battle pass of content to roll out this fall. Instead, Konami is back to the drawing board on basic stuff, from the sound of it, and that effort is delayed, too.
“Our hope is that the additional time taken will allow us to ensure the experience is improved for all of our users,” Konami said on Friday, from the same Twitter account that issued an omnibus apology for eFootball a day after it launched.
As of publication time, eFootball has drawn 19,475 negative Steam user reviews out of 22,068 overall. (eFootball is also available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.) The harshest reviews have an elegiac quality to them. Here’s one not even a week old, by Steam user Terre:
“Game’s not polished” is a lie. “It’s not finished” is stretching it. Middle of a wilderness road in pitch black darkness. There you’ll find eFootball 2022. You’ve all seen the pictures, no words, no excuses. The gameplay, the most important part, feels heavy and tired. Some of the new controls are pointless, some just straight up quality of life downgrades. Goals feel hollow. 2 difficulties available. No game modes. Game play feels worse than in a decade. There’s no soul. I guess they thought that we’d stick along, silent and loyal?
I guess this is my goodbye letter. There’s no more football games for me. Maybe someday … but I don’t believe it or hope for it no longer. Is this how you become an adult?
Wow. eFootball isn’t merely bad; it’s the death of innocence.