Konami’s UK PES team leader John Murphy has admitted that the Pro Evolution Soccer series has fallen further behind rival FIFA.
"In the UK we’ve definitely lost ground," Murphy told Eurogamer. "But that doesn’t give us the full picture across all territories. I think right now, there’s been a fair bit of manipulation of statistics to suit people.
"We’re now on the front foot in terms of quality of product and in terms of innovation. We believe sales will follow."
The PES series was throughout the last generation of machines regarded as the quality choice over EA’s FIFA. It consistently scored higher with critics and at one stage was close to achieving sales parity with its rival.
But the arrival of the current generation of machines saw Konami struggling to update its games in line with the power new afforded to it. In contrast, EA’s vast resources saw the FIFA series quickly expand to become arguably the greatest sports games franchise on the planet.
All this has lead to questions regarding the way in which Konami handles the franchise.
Is it realistic to continue releasing a boxed product once a year in the face of such competition? Or should Konami instead explore alternative methods such as digital delivery or microtransactions?
"For the time being I don’t see a change in the way that PES is released," Murphy, insisted. "[Though] that may change as the market develops."