As of February this year, the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise had sold around 70 million units worldwide, making it one of the most successful football series of all time.
So say what you want about FIFA, but Konami’s annual efforts are just as impressive when it comes to the Beautiful Game and PES 2012 is determined to give its EA rival a run for its money.
The game takes full advantage of its official UEFA in-game licence and play in the Champions League, Europa League and Super Cup with referees and players wearing the official kits.
But the true stars in PES’ squad this year are the new Teammate Control system and Active AI.
With the latter, teams will now engage in zonal marking. So they can close down space at the back or, once they’re further up the pitch, take defenders out of the game with dummy runs.
Two is better than one
Meanwhile the new Teammate Control system lets gamers use the analogue sticks to direct two players at once. So one will run with the ball and the other can do whatever a gamer wants, be it drawing defenders away or running to receive a pass.
For fans struggling with passing comes Pass Support. For beginniners, passes are guaranteed to reach their mark while Messi wannabes can opt for the support-free veteran level.
“We are totally focused on the gameplay and press reactions are calling it the best PES to date.” Says European PES Team Leader, Jon Murphy.
“We have worked closely with the PES community to ensure the game fulfils the most desired needs for a football title, hence the focus on gameplay and total control. As such, we expect the game to do well at retail.”
Facebook application myPES connects with the PS3, 360 and PC versions of PES and allow gamers to compare stats and set up leagues. Game bonuses will also be on offer via the app.
Targeting the crowds
Reviews and editorial pieces will appear in print across all press, with advertisements covering gaming, sports, kids and national press.
Match of the Day
Alongside a strong radio campaign, PES 2012 will enter the awareness of consumers through marketing deals with TALKSport and Sky Sports.
Outdoor promotions will include ads in pubs, washrooms, media screens in bars, banners in football stadiums, and ads in the London Underground thanks to a co-promotion with Zavvi.