Did you watch the glorious, nearly perfect FIFA World Cup finals held in Russia?
If you missed it, a surprise win over Germany by Croatia may haunt you.
But you’re not the only one. What you missed, to be fair, was the demise of Konami’s upcoming eFootball 2022.
The title is at the bottom of my list of awful new releases.
Konami released the title in April as the fourth installment in its FIFA franchise and a FIFA rival to EA Sports’ popular FIFA Ultimate Team, a sort of fantasy football system where players must compete by winning virtual matches using those kits that appear on individual squad cards.
So far, so good.
As it turns out, this is not a simulation of soccer.
Anyone taking a look at its manifesto can tell that I was not sold on this product.
It claimed that it was “the first third-party game in history to be based on the pitch and refereeing strategy directly simulating real football.”
Konami also announced it would be using a data-driven grass model that captures data that matches up with the unpredictable weather conditions found on top of Earth.
Obviously, neither claim holds up with what we saw this past summer.
Our games in Russia, featuring more local pitch conditions, were not as predictable as our predictions. These unpredictable conditions—roughly inclement—saved us on World Cup day two.
Yesterday, we agreed to play this game in the dome with a limited grip to simulate the muddy conditions of soccer.
To be fair, gameplay was not entirely unpredictable during the final three games.
While the pitch quality that we experienced in the world cup was partly responsible for some tactical missteps during the last three matches, we are allowing the rain to play a big part in our simulation as well.
All the same, this is a new game, and new things sometimes happen.
And other times, they do not. The results of the days featuring the rain should reflect current soccer trends.
The last word to the folks at Konami on their eFootball 2022 project goes to the game’s predecessor, a kickball-like football game called World Disk Six.
It’s also disappointing, frankly, that they bothered to even make such a “fantastic” game.
Innovation is a must in the gaming space, but that alone is not sufficient for a success like eFootball 2022.
Think about it, in the United States, every single major sports franchise has a gimmick to capitalize on the growing popularity of their sports.
As a result, the only time any of these franchises fail is when they change their hardware.
With videogames, however, innovation must remain consistent and not waver so players and players only can think about the newest gimmicks.
Imagine if this game had a realistic weather model and if no more realism was added.
That’s one logical assumption given that we entered a year of near-record rainfall for the U.S. The course of our rain would also not be fairly adjusted based on this assumption.
In the end, this game costs consumers—and clearly, Konami— $40 and little else.
It’s time to part ways with the confetti and ditch that ball.
Matthew Eichmann is head of sales and marketing at I7 Media.