Up For Debate - What Happens When FIFA Beats PES For Good?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sun, Oct 9, 2016 4:00 PM
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The news came out this week that FIFA 17 beat PES 2017 in terms of first week sales. It wasn’t a narrow win either, it was an absolute landslide. FIFA 17 sold over 40 times more copies than PES 2017 did in their respective launch weeks. Yep, for every copy of PES 17 sold, 40 people went out and bought FIFA 17.

I can’t even say FIFA decimated PES because it’s factually wrong. It more than decimated PES 2017. Right here in the heartland of footy games in the UK (where FIFA is admittedly the bestselling game, year in, year out), FIFA 17 shifted 1.1 million units while Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 made do with a meagre 50K. What’s astonishing is that is only physical units sold for FIFA, so it doesn’t take into account PC and digital console sales. They say in London you’re never more than three feet away from a rat. Well in Britain you’re rarely more than three feet away from a FIFA owner.

To put this into perspective - FIFA 17 currently sits on a very respectable Metacritic score of 84. PES 2017, which sold a 40th of the units and is an authentic recreation of the exact same sport, beats FIFA narrowly with 85. PES 2017 shifted 588 units for every Metacritic point gained. FIFA 17 sold 13,095. To put it bluntly, PES is getting stiffed. Big time.

It’s fantastic news for EA Sports, not so great for the tumbling fortunes of Konami. Practically out of the videogame business at this point, PES is (was?) its last bastion. The cash cow it could reliably milk year after year. Not so any more. But why?

A lot of it comes down to sheer force of marketing and the official licenses. Konami does an admiral job skirting around the edges of the license issues, but there’s only so much you can do to sell a game where Arsenal are called North London Red. Where FIFA shines is in authenticity. It’s all the commentators, camera angles and player likenesses you’ve come to expect from the real thing. EA Sports has this totally sewn up. For those after the most authentic football experience, they’re always going to follow the license.

This leads to an inevitable spiral in the popularity of PES 2017. It’s quite unusual that there’s even two successful soccer games at all. For most other sports there’s only one. A decade ago there were dozens, but the big publishers hoovering up the licenses has officially put paid to it all.

With PES surely going the way of Wimbledon FC these days, what happens when FIFA is the only football series around? EA Sports does a great job of updating it every year while there’s competition, but what about when their game is literally the only choice for footie fans? Can PES ever turn its ailing sales fortunes around? Let us know what you think!

Can PES survive?

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12:47 Oct-10-2016

Usually GD is a haven for sophisticated and learned discussions on gaming and tech. Suddenly a Football/Soccer article appears and there's a flood of poor language and negative comments. Come on guys, let's keep this friendly shall we?

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03:14 Oct-10-2016

Well i dont think there will be much problem if FIFA is the only game bcos nba doesnt have a competitor and it's still damn good every year

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00:46 Oct-10-2016

If I not mistaken. You can update PES with latest real world squad database, mod(?) made by someone. So, new PES won't get the attention like FIFA do. Some people think like this; "Why buy new game if old one still working? Just update it".

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11:03 Oct-10-2016

Fifa 17 and Fifa 16 (as far as i'm concerned) get that squad updates. I'm not a fifa fan tbh but this feature shouldn't be a mod. It should be more of a in-game turn on/off option :)

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23:06 Oct-09-2016

Stop asking why people keep buying the same sport game every year, most of football games players are not gamers but just fans of the sport & their expectations are not the same as ours.

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23:10 Oct-09-2016

Here at my work place, we are 2 gamers among a 100 people & 90% of these people buy football games every year. A lot do so just for the transfers as they don't know about patches, a lot don't care about graphics as they play on laptops,etc.

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20:35 Oct-09-2016

This article is all inclusive and uses Soccer and Football. Good job!

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20:48 Oct-09-2016

wow didn't even notice that. i guess they didn't want people to get angry and start that whole soccer football thing in the comments

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20:29 Oct-09-2016

no wonder this happened considering how they treat their pc customers. serves them right. i have always gone for pes but now i am not so sure. they had the audacity of releasing pes on pc with old gen graphics for two years in a row. there were bound to be consequences. it doesn't come as a surprise to me considering the way they have been treating their pc customers.

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18:48 Oct-09-2016

i dont understand why would some ppl want pes to get better
...u already have fifa in the world, dont be a hater and give it a chance...

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20:48 Oct-09-2016

There's nothing to give a chance to...both of them are screwing their gullible customers year after year and selling you the most expensive updates in gaming

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18:26 Oct-09-2016

Every year i go into the PES series optimistic and thinking...this is the year...this is gonna be the one. And it never is. UGH come on PES, GET BETTER!

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20:33 Oct-09-2016

seems like they are really testing gamers loyalty by selling ****ty old gen ports to pc players. loyalty can only go so far.

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02:11 Oct-10-2016

HAHAHA it seems to be the strategy!

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14:43 Oct-10-2016

yeah a self destructive one

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18:26 Oct-09-2016

Well I just didn't get it people say that Assassin's Creed is just a repetitive game which releases year after year then why the hell people spent their money on a same game year after year by saying that yeah it's improved

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18:29 Oct-09-2016

Because sports games are different. The main game mechanic can't change. Graphical upgrades, new systems put in place, better AI some new design elements can change and some years companies do a better job than other years. Cant compare a game like Assassins Creed where every aspect of the game can be changed to a sports game..

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21:07 Oct-09-2016

So why not price properly like $5-$10? . like they haven't done almost anything that other types of games have to do

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02:10 Oct-10-2016

As they probably should! but as far as business wise goes...if you can get away with selling a product for $60 every year and no one cares...why not do it? lol

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09:25 Oct-10-2016

I could agree to you that it's different as it is a sports game but not worth a full fledged 60$

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18:08 Oct-09-2016

btw if ea sports is doing a great job of updating that poor excuse of a game then so does the activision in updating call of duty, yet another poor excuse...

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05:57 Oct-10-2016

Except that both EA Sport and Infinity Ward, SledgeHammer and Trayarch bring many improvements to each sequel.

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18:06 Oct-09-2016

Ahhh good old Joffy, ea sports di*k sucker..."EA Sports does a great job of updating it every year" nice to see you haven't lost your sucking touch ;)

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18:03 Oct-09-2016

Poor PES... it is going to die.

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16:55 Oct-09-2016

Personally I simply do not care. In harsh words - What can you talk about morons who buy same thing reused for full game price?

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18:10 Oct-09-2016

You can call them half of the gaming community because there are a lot of those who are ready to throw cash before their favorite publisher's feet for anything.

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20:44 Oct-09-2016

i guess you are not a big fan of sports in general. sports games are not aimed at your regular hardcore gamers like us but rather at the fans of that particular sports who wouldn't be caught dead playing wither or fallout. and since football is most followed sports in the whole world its no wonder they sell so many games every year.
i am huge football fan and i buys these games every 2 years or so.

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16:05 Oct-09-2016

Lets hope it will... Monopoly is never good, especially if it is by EA.

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16:26 Oct-09-2016

but fifa already has a monopoly it sold 40 times as much thats 98% of the two it really won't make much of a difference if PES goes under

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