Our editor-in-chief Marvin met PES brand manager Adam Bhatti at GamesCom this year and managed to conduct an interview with him. But enough of words, here’s the interview:
Marvin: What would you say changed from PES 2015 to 2016 the most?
Adam: it’s very difficult to signify just one key impact. I can say gameplay is always gonna be our focus, even though we have totally redesigned Master league, even though we have added some really cool features to myclub, added more things to edit mode, the gameplay is always gonna be the focus, and so for us it was kind of, you know, PES5 had this feeling, right? or PES 6 had this feeling, and what we wanted to do is try and put it into, not just the feeling, we had to try and distill it into binary code, to a program, and what we found, it was that feeling of always being in control, it’s that responsiveness, and I think we worked really hard and balancing really hard and it’s still very difficult, but we think that we got to a very good level this year of really good animation vs. perfect response times, and that is most important for the gameplay, but it’s PES as well, so don’t forget, if it’s responsive, so say if you do the left stick with the player, any player in PES, it’s really good, but it’s still PES, which means we still have layers. So if you do it with Neymar, it’s even more responsive and it’s easier to move with him and that’s the main focus, for sure.
Marvin: You said everything is new in master league, which is a very important feature for loyal fans playing the series for years. What would you say are the key improvements?
Adam: Again, as a mode, it is completely redeveloped. If I was gonna give you a key highlight of ML and what I think makes it super special, is actually, it’s gonna be personal to every single person who plays, and the reason why is – I think you’ve seen the image that we released at gamescom, it was an image which showed the Champions League for the season, right? That image there is actually gonna change depending on your experience, so you’re not gonna see the same image as your friend, and the reason is, the game captures real images as you play. So if your player gets injured, you see a picture of him holding the back of his leg and an injury report, if you player’s not happy about not being played, you’ll see him coming out to the press. If you score a great free kick, for example, it will take a picture from your free kick as you took it. It’s unique, it’s PES, you know. And then you start having your own stories and you’re creating your own career, and that’s what is special about ML this year.
Marvin: Regarding the Euro 2016 license, In the press release it was already written down that you’ll talk about how the license will appear, not in PES 2016, but in the series. Will it be DLC or a standalone game?
Adam: you know what? I’m in the same position as you are, asking the questions, you know? Discussing the questions and discussing it. The only two things I can say to you. We’ve signed it, it’s exclusive, it’s ours. And it’s not in PES 2016, it’s gonna be its own thing, whatever that thing is, we will talk about it next year. And that is my main answer to you, let’s focus on this game. It’s not in this game, the Euros is next year, let’s talk about it next year. It’s a statement, though. I wanna say to you, it’s a statement for us, because sometimes some people not cause a little bit from the licenses, but this is a great way for us to show them „Hey guys, listen! As soon as something comes up, we’re gonna take it!“ And this shows we’re not lazy, we’re not cheap, we’re not settling for things, we’re going for big license here. And this won’t stop, you know, we are gonna be aggressive. The game is getting a lot of positivity, people are happy, and it will keep getting better and better as well.
Marvin: Does the license include stadiums as well? When you look at Champions League license, we have the layout, the real cup, assets but not all the teams. Is it the same with the Euro license?
Adam: No idea. I can’t tell you because I honestly don’t know.
Marvin: You announced Wolfsburg as second German team at Gamescom, I think we talked last year about the possibilities regarding German teams. Will a third team be announced as well?
Adam: Yeah, we got three teams for Germany this year. I think the questions from the community are about adding more, and we’re maximising how many German teams we can have in the game. Which again shows that we’re doing our best for the fans.
Marvin: But Mönchengladbach is safe?
Marvin: Regarding online modes: Will there be the opportunity to select random arrows in the settings?
Adam: No, we’re still using the same live update system as last year, so the stats will change weekly.
Marvin: In the friendly matches, they are always green. In some online communities, they have their own transfer system. They currently have only about 14 players per team, but in earlier parts of the series they had 30 players and chose them based on the form arrows.
Adam: It’s one of those things, actually, which is really good to hear and also good for you to hear something. What tends to happen that you get loads of feedback from people who hate something. You tend to shout when you don’t like something rather than when you do like something. And this is one of those situations, unfortunately, Marv, where we have a lot of feedback that people hated the random form arrows. So we then made it consistent. And now you’re telling me, people wanted to go back. And that’s what sometimes happens, you upset one group of fans and you make other ones happy. This is a good lesson for all the community, to think about what you ask for and to understand why we don’t change things sometimes as well, I think this has to work both ways.
Marvin: Will it be possible on PS4 two play online with two players on one station.
Adam: We haven’t confirmed right now, it’s asked for, but when we do the community surveys, it’s still obviously asked for a lot, but there’s many things that people ask for, so we kind of have a must-do list. And that, unfortunately, isn’t as high priority as some other things. However, whether it’s in or not hasn’t been confirmed, me and Masuda-san actually went back and forth on it because we were questioning exactly if it was in or not. Let me confirm for you.
Marvin: Last year, the PC version was running on steam. Will it be on steam this year again?
Marvin: Will you use new options of steam like joining into rooms via steam or…
Adam: We’re doing really exciting stuff with steam, I think you guys know the steam community, Steam Works I think it’s called, where you get rewards within steam for playing certain games. It might not come for launch, but we’re talking with Steam right now. I want to say to all the PC fans, that, I think, in 10 days we start Steam pre-orders, 17th of August. We’re working with steam quite a lot to integrate as much of their really really cool features as possible. I can’t guarantee for launch, but fingers crossed we can work really fast for the PC fans.
Marvin: When you announced the Demo date for 13th, we had many questions why PC isn’t a launch platform for the demo. I heard the team was very unhappy about what happened with PES2013 demo, so we missed PES14 and PES15 demos. Is this the main reason why PC doesn’t get the demo on the same date?
Adam: It’s hard to define, you know. We should be honest with you guys about everything, but it’s not only one person’s reason. There was a story that came out from the team, I think it was an interview, and the reason why this has some foundation. I think it was before the release of PES 2014, where they said in an interview the game was hacked. There was a full unlock. That’s that one side. And the other side is this, to put it back on us as a company and as a dev team, for me personally, I wanna try and work with this in the future to improve it. Because I know there are a lot of good people who don’t hack the games, who buy it, who support Konami and support PES because they love PES, and they feel really upset about the situation. I want to apologise to those people and say thank you for your support, thank you for understanding the situation. Right now, I cannot tell you when the demo is coming. Honestly, I don’t know. Whenever it comes, at least you’ll have one, and you’ll be able to test it. One of the key things in the future, I don’t want the PC fans to think that this is gonna be the same every year. Please understand, that in the future, it’s something that we’re looking at on a yearly basis. And it’s down to us to perhaps to create better tools or work closer with steam in the future. Thanks for your support.
Marvin: Dynamic rain was shown on the screenshots. Will dynamic snow be in the game?
Adam: No. You know, snow was one of the things where, I don’t get it. I’m sorry, I don’t get it.
Marvin: I think it’s the same priority level like German fans love playing futsal mode.
Adam: I’ve had that a few times, actually, during this gamescom show, where people asked have you thought about doing something crazy, like futsal mode or non-gravity mode and I said to them. „Well, you know, for PES, we have a clear direction that we want to move. We know what we want to achieve with PES. And I think until we get where we want to be, until we are very confident that we are by far the best game, in everything. Right now, gameplay I think clearly, but everything, until everyone says PES is the best. Until we get there, then we will start doing the fun stuff. Maybe we will give you a call and you can help us with the futsal stuff. but that’s a nice to have thing, not must-have
Marvin: Can you talk about the possibilites of editing on PS4? Where can you use the image importer?
Adam: Logos, Manager fotos, and the kits and leagues.
Adam: No. But in my opinion, we’ve really improved the face building mechanism itself, there’s better hair styles, update hair styles, I should say, there’s a lot of options there to edit things. I know that people have seen various numbers as well, but we have a lot of space per item, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Marvin: Last year, live updates had been successfully implemented in the game, will there be an improvement for this year, like more leagues?
Adam: Yeah, more leagues, all second divisions in the game are gonna be updated. Not as detailed as the first divisions, but lineups and formations and transfers, obviously. In terms of that, the aim is every single team in the game, apart from international teams, will be updated on a weekly basis, so it’s a lot of work. We have extended the data team, the community last year maybe between 30-40 people that helped us, this year we work with over a hundred, so it’s been fantastic so far.
Marvin: My last question: What can we expect between demo and release, for example will announce more licences, mode details, etc.?
Adam: Yeah, I think everyone wants to know things like stadiums, about final licences, more news about modes as well. So we’re gonna be releasing some gameplay videos, showing the modes. We’re doing a ML video, some MyClub stuff before launch as well.
There’s a road show going around in Latin America in the next two weeks, we got some really nice announcements for the Latin American fans, licences and stuff. In general, we’re going to have lot of video content and information going out there to give you and the fans. At gamescom, the focus was to get our three key announcements out there, and that was demo date, which is the most important thing. because, you know, Marv, they will trust your opinion more than mine, because I work for Konami, and they will think that you’re gonna be more objective. But at the same time, we both really support the product, and we really want the game to be in the fans’ hands. And the demo is us kind of saying: „Forget about anything we announced, just play the game! Don’t judge videos, play the game!“ Thanks