Although some may argue the games aren’t what they used to be, EA Sports is the undisputed leader when it comes to sports games, from football (FIFA or Madden, whichever you call football I guess) to golf and hockey, they have a little something for every sports fan, including the rumoured return of the classic EA Sports Fight Night which is coming this year apparently, after 10 years out of action! So, when you’re the leading name, what more can you do to put yourself above any competition?
IIHF Partners With EA Sports (NHL 2022)
Well, something EA have done over the years to set themselves apart is to acquire licenses that other developers and publishers don’t have the swing to acquire themselves.
For example, remember Pro Evolution Soccer, before it was an absolute embarrassment to sports games? Well, way back when they had no licenses at all, no teams, no players.
Merseyside Blue Vs. Merseyside Red for the Merseyside Derby, Oranges 001, Oranges 002 and Oranges 003 etc. for the Netherlands team, meanwhile EA had most of the teams, most of the players and most of the kits, more recently they’ve added stadiums, more leagues and even fan chants etc.
Not to mention the fact graphically the games have improved a lot since we were kids, I mean, the players actually resemble who they’re supposed to be now!
While other sports games that EA publish may not have as much competition as their FIFA franchise, it’s safe to say that they’re doing the same thing with their other games, they want the experience to be as realistic as possible, whether that rings true with the gameplay is a discussion for another time, but visually, audibly, they want everything to FEEL like you’re at a real game.
Not only that, they’ve opened the door for more representation with women’s teams in their other games. So what would be the next move for a franchise like the NHL series?
Well they took the strides in this particular iteration by announcing that they have partnered with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to add multiple iterations of international rosters to the game, this started in December when the IIHF Men’s and World Junior teams were added in different ways, such as kits for Ultimate Team and World of Chel as well as updating the official teams AS they’re announced.
They have also added the World Junior Championships as a playable game mode which is great given the World Juniors for this year were cancelled. *shakes fist at Omicron*
But that’s not all! In what is a rather gigantic addition, not only for the franchise, but for representation in general, EA have announced that in January 2022 (hey that’s this month!).
The IIHF Women’s teams will be available in NHL 22’s PLAY NOW mode. Not only that, but the authentic structure for the women’s tournament and the visuals to match!
This has been a long time coming but the women’s game has been growing steadily, with Premier Hockey Federation (Women’s Hockey League) games being live streamed on twitch and stuff for exposure.
What next for the NHL franchise? They already have a “fantasy” mode with Ultimate Team, but I’d like to see a competitive fantasy draft mode, where you could bet fifa points or in-game currency against other players based around games that are happening in real time.
I believe FIFA used to have a game mode where you could play real fixtures, but to my knowledge I don’t think it really had any bearing on anything?
These games already have a form of gambling in the form of packs for Ultimate Team anyway right? I guess my suggestion would mean it would have to have an 18+ rating however.
I guess there’s always other services like fanduel to get your kick out of fantasy drafts. Services like that have come a long way also, just like sports games.
Fanduel sportsbook has become one of the leading names in the space, going as far as sponsoring teams like the Colts and the Broncos in the NFL, one of their competitors Draftkings also sponsors teams, the Eagles and Giants in particular.
They’ve helped each other grow with healthy competition, to bring competitive fantasy drafts to the masses, allowing people to bet on their own ability to pick a roster. I mean, we already all think we know better than the coaches, so why not put your money where your mouth is eh?
That’s going to do it for this one, what do you think about the recent additions to NHL 22, or EA sports games in general. Are there any changes or additions that you would implement if you were in charge?
It’s safe to say that these games have come a LONG way when you compare them to how they were many years ago, not just graphically but in terms of how smooth and realistic the gameplay has become!
It’ll be interesting to see how these franchises improve in another 10-15 years, but until then, it’d be interesting to see what you folks think of the current state of sports games, take care folks!