What do UK football gamers think of the PES rebrand to eFootball? We chatted with them to find out.
August 3rd, 2021, Hoang Nguyen

What do UK football gamers think of the PES rebrand to eFootball? We chatted with them to find out.

Konami made several changes recently to its popular and much-loved Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) franchise, including rebranding it to eFootball. In a departure for those used to buying each new version of the game, it will now also be free-to-play and only available digitally.

In order to measure awareness around these changes and whether they’ll impact gamers’ playing habits, we spoke to Britons who play FIFA and PES on YouGov Chat, a platform that uses chatbot technology and conversations to survey consumers.

According to chat users who play PES and prefer it to FIFA, an overwhelming majority are aware of the recent name change to eFootball and Konami making it free-to-play across PC, console and mobile (93%). More than half of people who play FIFA and prefer it to PES (68%) are also aware of the transition to eFootball, although three in ten say they have not heard of the changes (27%).

We also looked at the impact of making eFootball free-to-play and whether that makes gamers more likely to play it in the future. According to gamers who prefer FIFA over PES, two in five say that Konami’s move to make eFootball free-to-play will increase their likelihood of playing the game - potentially earning PES a healthy slice of its competitor's action. One in five (21%) say this has no impact on their likelihood to play eFootball and roughly the same share say it will make them less likely to play it (18%).

As well as changing gamers’ likelihood of playing PES, we were interested in how the move might affect how much gamers might play FIFA in the future, too. Afterall, the availability of a high-quality, free-to-play football game might be an attractive alternative to shelling out for each new version of its rival.

We asked chat users who prefer FIFA if PES becoming free-to-play will change their likelihood to play FIFA. The results suggest FIFA’s fanbase is not easily swayed from the game. Just 15% of FIFA fans say they would be less likely to play FIFA despite PES being free-to-play in the future. Instead, 42% of FIFA fans say they are more likely to play the game now and a third say it will not have an impact on their likelihood to play FIFA (32%).

YouGov’s gaming community also volunteered their own thoughts on PES' name change and what it means for the future of the franchise. For some, the rebrand means “PES is moving in the right direction” and that the “battle is on” between FIFA and PES now that the latter has “got some big clubs and [is now] free”.

Not everyone is a fan of the transition to eFootball, however. One chat user feels “ignored” that s/he will have to pay for Master League now that it will be a DLC game mode and says the move “focus[es] on online players”.

As the video game industry pivots to a post-pandemic world, it’s crucial to stay current with gamers’ perceptions of their favorite games and ones they might consider playing. YouGov’s rich community of gamers allows brands and publishers to hone in on niche gaming audiences, understand their views toward gaming news and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns to make better data-driven decisions.

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Learn more about YouGov Chat.

: Every day, members of YouGov Chat are asked to share their opinion on a topic in the news. We screen to ensure we are talking to the right groups of people about the right subjects and do not weight results. YouGov chat seeks to add to the ‘what?’ (the quantitative poll result) by finding the ‘why?” (qualitative open ends) in a member’s own words.

Participants were asked to talk to us via social adverts. Niche audience targeting was used to identify PES and FIFA players (who were then double screened within the chat). The data is based on the online interviews of 105 football video gamers (62 who prefer playing FIFA & 43 who prefer playing PES) aged 13+ in the UK on July 28, 2021.