PES has long been competing with the FIFA series to be named the better game, and in many ways, it’s succeeded. Critics praise the graphics in PES 2016, the realistic physics system, and the smooth controls that help create an interesting, immersive playing experience. Compared to FIFA’s outdated and only minimally changed system, PES reigns supreme. But in many people’s opinion, where PES falls short is in licensing.
FIFA has always held a monopoly on licenses, and PES has been struggling to make up for it. A lot of FIFA’s appeal has come from the fact that it has the rights to use major leagues, players, and stadiums in the game. Players who are also big fans of these leagues tend to choose FIFA over PES for this alone. They are likely to overlook a game’s flaws, such as floating-ball physics and below-par graphic rendering, in exchange for being able to play in a specific stadium.
Many have insisted that PES would be improved by gaining more licenses, and in some ways, they’d be right. If PES were to obtain the same kinds of rights as FIFA, it could prove more attractive to customers. Players specifically looking for the player and location perks offered by FIFA could turn away from that series as they discover the graphics and mechanics offered by PES. With attention detracted from FIFA, PES’s popularity would grow, and FIFA would be forced to make real, meaningful updates to compete.
However, one problem that could arise due to additional licensing is a drop in quality updates. Like FIFA, PES could grow to the point where its main marketing point is what rights they have, as opposed to how good their game is. FIFA has been doing this for a while, loudly advertising its licensing privileges and making miniscule updates to the game itself. These updates are highlighted and made to look big and impressive, when really all they do is reformat a menu or make a certain move smoother, instead of fixing buggy physics and overly-complicated controls.
FIFA relies heavily on its licensing to grab a player’s attention and increase sales. If this were to happen to PES, however, its fantastic reviews would surely decline. Currently, PES’s success rides on its superior graphics and gameplay, and the notable steps developers have made to improve the game’s quality over the years. If increased licensing were to detract from that, then players may as well be playing FIFA, since they would start mirroring one another significantly.
With the addition of better licensing, PES would have the potential to be an amazing game in every respect, easily outpacing FIFA. This is provided, of course, that its game development doesn’t fall off as it adds more big-name leagues to its list of possibilities. But whether or not it does drop off depends on the developers. If they could secure more rights, would they continue to improve gameplay as they have been, or let it fall to the wayside? That is a question that can only be answered by them.