Konami may not have brought anything to the major Sony or Microsoft press conferneces, but that hasn't stopped them from making several announcements about Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 at the show anyway. This morning Konami has announced that Usain Bolt – track running's most decorated athlete and the fastest man in the world – as the latest ambassador for PES 2018.
Usain Bolt is a legend in athletics, at least three different memes, and is the current World Champion in the 100m, 200m and 400m relay events. Since his debut in 2002, Bolt has been an unstoppable force and has won countless medals and huge acclaim, while his famed 'to di world' winning pose has become iconic. The Jamaican athlete is also a huge football fan and an accomplished player, and his new agreement with Konami will see him faithfully recreated as an in-game player via a special pre-order incentive for those purchasing Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 ahead of launch.
Any pro-order of PES 2018 ahead of the game's launch on September 12th will be able to unlock Usain Bolt as an in-game player at launch exclusively with myClub. Konami has used its proprietary face-scanning systems to perfectly recreate the athlete in-game, while his running style and more importantly incredible pace will make him an asset to any side.
The full PR blub explaining the decision reads, "Usain Bolt joins the KONAMI team as PES 2018 gears up for the new season. Centered on the concept that PES 2018 is "Where Legends are Made," the new game boasts more new features and enhancements than any PES title in the last 10 years, more new ways to play, and a PC version to the standard of the leading console iterations."
Now, what you absolutely are wondering about is, what the hell is a track star doing in a soccer game. And you wouldn't be too off-base there. The thing is, Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer has never had a great day with EA's FIFA having better name recognition, better licensing, and the cold hard cash of Electronic Arts backing it. So Konami had to do something.
And this year, Usain Bolt is that something.
How this will work out remains to be seen, but lets hope this doesn't turn out like the Madden Curse.
Now for the talking heads portion of the announcement:
"PES fans will know that, historically, the legendary Babangida is the fastest player in the game – but not anymore more!" commented Jonas Lygaard, Senior Director Brand & Business Development at Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. "We are delighted that a legendary athlete and committed football fan such as Usain Bolt has agreed to become an Ambassador for the PES series, exclusively. Those who pre-order now will be able to add the fastest man in the World to their myClub team. Usain's enthusiasm and willingness to help with his inclusion in the game have been fantastic, and we look forward to those pre-ordering the game unleashing his pace on unsuspecting defences when PES 2018 is released."
"I love football and have played PES for as long as I can remember – it's the best football game there is – and it's a great honor to be a part of it and its success," added Usain Bolt. "When the opportunity arose to be a player in PES 2018, it was too good to be true. Having my face and movements scanned for use in the game was a fascinating process and I hope those who pre-order the game make full use of my pace and skill!"
Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation3 and Xbox360 because Konami needs the sales so why not run it on last-gen consoles? PES 2018 will release on September 12th in the Americas, with the global launch coming on September 14th.
Alongside the announcement about Usain Bolt's partnership, Konami also released an E3 trailer for the game, which you can see below.