Interview with Paul Johnson, product manager for PES 2012

By on September 19, 2011

We pass a few questions regarding the Arabicization, the new features and just why was Messi replaced.

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Battlefield 3 vs Modern Warfare 3 is a battle that we are all rubbing our hands to watch, but there is another war brewing in the industry and this time it is a lot closer to home. FIFA 2012 and PES 2012 will both be vying for a piece of the market share, and not just internationally, but also of the Middle East. With a ballooning base of Arab gamers, both the titles have geared towards a complete Arabicization of its content, right down to its menus, and in case of FIFA, even commentary. We catch up with Paul Johnson, product manager for PES 2012, and passed him a few questions for him to dodge.

What changes can we expect in Pro Evo Soccer this year from the previous titles?

PES 2012 continues KONAMI’s determination to work with fans of both the PES series and football in general, to create a truly realistic, immersive and utterly playable take on the modern game, ensuring that the region’s number one soccer gaming title will impress players like never before. Focusing on enhancements related to game play, PES 2012 will deliver a noticeably smoother and more intelligent edition, having improved features from Active AI, Teamwork Control, extended and optimized online gameplay, smooth animations realised in less time, Physical 1-on-1 situations, new penalty shot system and more.

Every article online seem to concentrate on how PES 2012 this year want to concentrate on the team work side of the game, can you explain how that works? 

As mentioned above, KONAMI has concentrated on delivering to fans a game that features as few interruptions as possible, recreating a very real life football experience. By focusing on team work elements, the options for game play have really opened up in the latest version. Attacking play is a cornerstone of PES 2012, and the new game benefits from a more open approach that allows users to dictate the pace of movement, with all-new AI elements incorporated so team mates make runs and offer support in one-on-one situations. Zonal marking and positional defending are also massively enhanced; ensuring players are forced to work harder to split the opposition defense. Meanwhile a new cursor switching system has been implemented using the right analogue stick to switch to any player on the field. The result is a game that, more than ever, represents the key attributes of the world’s greatest players and truly captures the essence of top-flight football.

The long overdue Arabicization is finally here (as promised last year), how was it like working on adding such a massive option to the game? 

Well first off, we were really excited when KONAMI decided to go ahead with the introduction of Arabic texts to the game. Knowing how popular the game is within the region, we knew that the edition of Arabic to the game would only add to its success. Of course it is a very big project to undertake and we worked with several well established translators to ensure we had the right Arabic – as anyone who speaks the language knows there are often several ways to translate any one phrase. It was therefore a long process but we are confident that our efforts will pay off. We look forward to the feedback of regional fans in this regard.

When can we expect Arabic commentary for the game?

As stated in the previous question, for this edition of PES the localization has been focused towards the in-game text and menus, as well as the manual and sleeve, and the addition of Arabic commentary is being addressed for future editions.

Can you tell us more about the new mode “football life”?

Football Life is a really exciting new mode that unlike the football matches within the game, gives players the opportunity to gain some insight into what it means to be a manager or owner of a major football club. Similar to the previous Master League and Become a Legend modes available on previous editions, it also boasts a new feature adding a fiscal element to the management tasks through the all-new unlockable Club Boss mode.

We cannot wait to buy our own club and spend money left and right! How will that work in PES 2012? Will the spending be limited by the owners (unlike real life that is)?

Like real life, you will receive a budget and the aim is to take your club to the top, along the way there will be all the issues that real club managers face, injuries, loans/transfers, International call ups, so it will really test your knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be a top club manager. And yes, just like in real life, there is a limit to how much you can spend in the game.

Finally, many see going from Messi to Ronaldo as a step down, Why change the cover player this year? 

With Cristiano Ronaldo being the most expensive top flight soccer player on the scene today, his featuring on the front cover is very far from a step down. Furthermore, Cristiano Ronaldo is not new to the PES franchise having featured as a cover star for PES2008, and his endorsement is extremely positive for the franchise.


I love my Sports games. Throw me on an Island with the newest FIFA, Football Manager and NBA 2K and i will live forever. Follow me on Twitter (@RabieA11) for updates or on the PSN and XBL (Rabie1).

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