End of an era for PES Club Manager

Earlier on 13 October, Konami announced that PES Club Manager will be discontinued on 15 December, giving no reason other than “End of service”. The game was first released back in 2015.

This caused huge shock amongst the community. Many of them took to Twitter to express their disappointment and anger towards Konami shortly after the announcement.

I did feel something was amiss when Konami took an unusually long time to announce the new season update for 2021-22. But this news still surprised me nonetheless. In fact, I wasn’t even aware that PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) was rebranded as eFootball back in July until this announcement came up.

At first, I thought Konami might recreate PES Club Manager with the eFootball brand pasted on it. But it seems like Konami has given up on having a football manager game altogether.

Konami’s focus is to compete with the FIFA series. But the launch of eFootball 2022 earlier in September was a huge calamity that further tarnished Konami’s already declining reputation. eFootball 2022 is the worst-rated game ever on Steam right after launch due to numerous issues like bugs, terrible graphics and unfinished content.

To this day, fans are still insulting Konami on the PES Club Manager Twitter. Some people paid money to purchase in-game stuff shortly before the announcement, but I don’t think Konami has compensated them. Besides, they still have yet to provide a proper explanation for shutting the game down abruptly.

I understand why fans are not forgiving Konami. Konami has messed up a lot with regards to the game itself and their communication with the player base over the last few years. To end off my time with this game, here are my closing thoughts on PES Club Manager.

My achievements

Now that the final Managers Cup has concluded, it’s time to look back at my achievements; particularly, my trophies in the Online Cup.

Combining both my main and sub accounts, this is my trophy cabinet:

  • 1 Amateur Managers Cup
  • 2 Regular Managers Cup
  • 5 Professional Managers Cup
  • 1 Professional Partners Cup
  • 4 Top Player Managers Cup
  • 1 Super Star Managers Cup

That’s a total of 14 Online Cups across 5 division categories. I’ve also won a Continental Championship Association Cup with my association. Although that’s not an Online Cup, I was definitely pleased to win a trophy with an association.

Online Cups define my success in PES Club Manager. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and have no regrets looking back.

Gameplay issues

PES Club Manager is nowhere near a flawless game. Most notably, there are a number of issues with player actions that spoil the gameplay. This is in spite of Konami claiming that they addressed them at the start of every new season update.

In fact, negative reviews on eFootball 2022 highlight exactly the same issues found in PES Club Manager. The most infuriating ones include:

  • Players refusing to close down on an opposition just because they’re not assigned to man-mark that player.
  • Opposition taking down your player with a tackle, but the referee penalises your player instead.
  • Passing the ball away from goal when there is a clear shooting opportunity.

If these ridiculous issues are can be transferred to the new eFootball 2022, that means that Konami’s claims are bogus. They didn’t care or are simply inept at fixing issues with player actions.

Detracting from tactics

In the last 2 years, Konami has been really generous by offering free 6-7 star players or players with valuable special traits at a cheap price on a regular basis.

Resources like special coaches to boost the players’ special trait levels have been easy to come by too. This is all thanks to the support campaigns that have been held regularly where you can exchange credits for valuable resources such as these.

It seems weird to complain about freebies, but I feel that the focus in building a winning team has shifted significantly.

Tactics and even training your players to maximum stats are no longer the most crucial. Having significantly higher overall team rating than everyone else is because it almost guarantees that you’re unbeatable, and special traits is the biggest contributing factor here.

During my Super Star Managers Cup success, I boosted my team’s overall rating by more than 220 by giving everyone at least 2 special traits that are level 8 and above. Although a few other teams had a base overall rating of 930-940 like myself, special traits alone put me well ahead of them, and it was a relatively comfortable road to glory.

Special traits are too strong in PES Club Manager, especially the legend ones and those that scale up during the match from doing basic things like dribbling or passing. Since anyone who logs in regularly will receive these freebies, it becomes too easy and tempting to stuff your team full of 6-7 star players and give them loads of high level special traits.

Whatever the true reason is for shutting down PES Club Manager, gameplay experience has been on a decline for a few years now.

Konami commemorates every 1 million downloads, but that’s not a sign of the active player base increasing. I strongly believe that the active player base has been on a significant decline for a long time, but we will never know since Konami doesn’t want to share stats on this.

Despite my rants, I still think that Konami has created the best football management game out there. PES Club Manager has kept me entertained for the last 5 years, and it was fun writing guides on this game. I hope things can get better for Konami and that their good work in PES Club Manager isn’t forgotten despite all the flak they’re getting now.

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