Pro Evolution Soccer 2011's goal is "to win back the hardcore," European PES team leader Jon Murphy has revealed.
Speaking to CVG in a recent interview, Murphy - who's worked on the PES series since 1998 - said the new instalment also needs to ensure is doesn't lose any more fans to rival footy games.
He said: "What we want to stop is hardcore level of our fanbase moving, if I'm totally honest - which worryingly has started to happen. For years, we sat on our laurels and assumed it never would happen.
"That's our strategy, plain and simple. What we now have is a benchmark from EA that we've got to beat, which is fine. It gives us a challenge. But that's not our ultimate aim. Our goal is not only to ensure we don't lose any more fans, but that we win back the hardcore fans. The rest of it - we'll see what happens."
In our soon-to-be-published Chat, Jon Murphy argued that the PES v FIFA battle differs from territory to territory. You can just look at the sales numbers, he said.
"Traditionally, PES and FIFA have different reactions in different territories. We see a strong rivalry in the UK, obviously," he continued.
"In France, we see it's very heavily dominated by PES - same in Spain, same in Italy. Germany, for example, has always been FIFA. It depends from territory to territory so you can't just look at the sales."
"It's a healthy rivalry," he conceded. "PES needed a shake-up and that's been brought about because FIFA has turned up and done its stuff. I hope we do get back to [No.1] because if PES ever did disappear and you saw one game on the market I think you'd go back to seeing a very, very lazy game of football that everyone would be sick of.
"Without competition from either side, I think you'd have a problem in this market."
Hit the link for all the PES 2011 details we have so far.