Last week, Sony made the bizarre decision to pull the Konami-published football title PES 2019 from its July PlayStation Plus lineup of free games at the last minute.
While the game’s inclusion was met with criticism from fans, it was unclear whether or not Sony did what it did as a direct response to said feedback. PES 2019 was swapped out with Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human, which now joins arcade racer Horizon Chase Turbo to form the two free games for Plus subscribers this month.
Sony wrote on the PlayStation blog at the time:
We are making a swap to the PS Plus games lineup for July. This month, we are adding Detroit: Become Human Digital Deluxe Edition, which also includes Heavy Rain, to the July games lineup instead of Pro Evolution Soccer 2019. We apologize for any inconvenience.
It’s still not entirely obvious quite why Sony made this decision, but in a statement issued to Eurogamer, Konami confirmed that the removal of PES 2019 was nothing to do with them. They said that the decision “was made by SIE, and so please make an inquiry to SIE.”
Eurogamer then went to Sony, who essentially repeated what they said when the news was announced, though added that “this was a decision we decided to make as a company.” Frustratingly, this still doesn’t really clear anything up, though at least we know now it was nothing to do with Konami.
Some have speculated that the game’s removal has something to do with the marketing deal Sony signed with EA Sports for FIFA, which is famously the only real rival to PES for the affections (and sales) of football fans. Again though, this is merely speculation and hasn’t been confirmed.
Others remain convinced that PES 2019 was knocked from the lineup because people really weren’t happy about a football game being one of the monthly freebies, especially since the removal of PS3 and Vita games now leaves subscribers with just two games a month.
Personally, I don’t think Sony would’ve done what it did based entirely on fan feedback, mostly because that would be a super slippery slope to start heading down. For now, I guess those that didn’t want PES 2019 can just be happy that they got what they wanted.
Once again, when it comes to PlayStation Plus monthly freebies, there’s not pleasing everyone – especially when there are now only two games to choose from.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.