In recent years, Konami demonstrated a willingness to push the "Pro Evolution Series" as a genuine challenger to EA's "Fifa." Although the series proved popular in the PlayStation 2 era, it quickly fell by the wayside while the much bigger franchise dominated the genre. While "Fifa" improved slowly, or at-least managed to maintain the same level of quality, "PES" spent a few years getting worse and worse. This changed with the release of "PES 2016".

Valencia join Barcelona and Liverpool

One area in which Konami struggles, especially in comparison to EA's franchise, is of authenticity.

We are not referring to the gameplay, as both series have their pros and cons in that department, but "PES's" always lacked in terms of team and player licenses. This meant that fans would have to play with Man Red instead of Manchester United, and the kits could only be superficially similar to their real life counterparts. It might not seem like a huge deal, but this made the game feel small when placed alongside "Fifa."

Due to the positive reception the last two games received, the Japanese company is going all in for "PES 2018". The gameplay does not need a lot of work, as the 2017 edition is about as close to perfection as the series has ever been; therefore, the logical step would be to add as many official teams as possible.

FC Barcelona and Liverpool already agreed to partner Konami for the next game, with Valencia CF joining this exclusive list. All three acquisitions are clear signs of intent and hopefully just an indication that there is more yet to come.

When will 'PES 2018' be available to buy?

Players will be able to get their hands on "PES 2018" on September 14.

Konami has decided to go head to head with their big brother counterpart, "Fifa," as both titles launch on the same day. This is a risky but confident move, showing that they are no longer willing to just sit in the shadow of EA's massive franchise. They are ready and able to face them head on.

Regarding gameplay, "PES 2018" attempts to fine tune what already worked fantastically Free-kicks and penalty kicks are revamped, and a ball control system is implemented so players react in a more realistic fashion when challenged.

The post and pre match segments have been touched up, to help and facilitate the game's goal to deliver an authentic experience. As can be seen from all the changes, the main priority is to make each match feel as real as possible.