Konami has updated Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 for the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4 with a brand new free-to-play feature that allows PlayStation owners to get the most out of the soccer title without having to pay a dime for it.
Eurogamer is reporting that starting December 8th next month, gamers who own Konami's PES 2016 on the PS3 or PS4 will be able to download the game for free from the PlayStation Network.
The free version has some significant differences between the paid version, though. You won't be gaining access to a full-on game, but rather a title with some missing features, namely a lot of the teams. The free-to-play version of the game will only include seven playable teams, including Bayern Munich, Juventus, AS Roma, Brazil and France to name a few.
For the free-to-play version of the game they've included a fully featured training mode for both online and offline play, enabling users to improve their skills and upgrade their abilities. There's also the inclusion of the myClub mode as well, so gamers can take their favorite stars and train them up, hire in a coach to offer some pointers, as well as evolve the club to prime-time status. The myClub mode will be fully featured but will be restricted based on microtransactions. Of course one would have to expect that there would be a catch to a free-to-play version of the game, right?
On the upside, all of the modifications, upgrades and changes made in the free-to-play version of PES 2016 will actually carry over in their entirety if PS3 or PS4 owners decide to upgrade and purchase the full retail or digital version of Konami's prime time soccer title.
Konami also noted in the press release that the free-to-play rendition of the game will be fully compatible with all future updates made for the main version of the game. This will keep players in sync with everyone else if they decide to play the game online against other players. It's also a nice way to grow the community while egging players on to either spend money on the microtransactions or just bite the bullet and pay for the full game so they can gain access to the rest of the teams and players.
The automatic updates will also include keeping the roster up to date throughout the 2016 soccer season. So everything will be designed to stay “aligned” with the real-life version of the popular sport.
The reactions for the free-to-play version of PES 2016 have varied. Some gamers feel as if it's moving the series down the path of paying to win, with gamers more inclined to pay for the best of the best through myClub instead of earning it with skill and time. Others feel as if this is a great opportunity to allow Konami to branch the series out to a wider audience and potentially bring in a more dedicated group who want to play the game but didn't feel it was worth the price of entry.
I guess we'll find out just how well the game fares in the free-to-play space when December 8th rolls around and PS3 and PS4 gamers are able to download the title.