Konami has sorta become the company that will not be named lately in the gaming world, given that some of their franchises are seemingly being burned to the ground in the creation of Pachinko machines and Slot machines. One franchise that has escaped this however is the Pro Evolution Soccer series, which is one of the only rivals to FIFA made by the larger gaming producers. Now, while Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 is set for a release of September 15th this year and Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 still going strong, it looks like Konami will be closing the chapter on the 2014 version of the game. On November 17th, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 will have its online support close, meaning no online matches nor online functionality will be available for the game. It brings up questions once again about reasonable time frames regarding online components of games staying up, in particular with yearly sports franchises.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 was originally released on September 19th, 2013, and was Konami’s version before the World Cup of 2014. With it’s closing on November 17th of this year, that means the online components of the game were only up 2 years and 2 months on this iteration of the game. Now while the Steam version of the game has dwindled to an average of 16 players a day via Steam Charts, that does not take into account consoles, and it is unknown what numbers of a player base will be affected by this decision.
In their press release, Konami indicated that it, “thanks everyone who has taken part in Pro Evolution Soccer 2014‘s many online league and competitions. The Pro Evolution Soccer online community is vital to the development process and we are grateful for the constant support shown for the Pro Evolution Soccer series.” For those who want to continue with the alternative soccer experience online who have the older game, they’ll have to upgrade to a newer version.
Is approximately two years of online service for a yearly franchise insufficient regarding online functionality, and is this another example of problems within the Konami organization regarding non-mobile gaming?