Let me start by thanking you for the continued support and feedback over the years on the EA SPORTS NHL franchise. You have been instrumental in helping our team shape our franchise into one of the most critically-acclaimed sports games on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. We can’t wait for all of you to get your hands on NHL 15, our first step into a new console generation.
When we finished NHL 14 late last year, we moved our focus to bringing NHL 15 to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Our goal from Day One was to build from the core out and deliver a truly next-generation gameplay and presentation experience for all our fans to enjoy. From the Next-Generation Hockey Player and True Hockey Physics to the Unrivalled In-Arena Experience and a revolution in Broadcast Presentation, I couldn’t be more proud of what our team has delivered in one year on new technology. The focus on a new gameplay engine was necessary to not only deliver a great game now, but also give us the foundation to deliver a truly next-generation hockey experience to you for the years to come. We also know that a commentary and presentation overhaul has been something that’s been a top fan-requested feature for several years. Your positive feedback on these features all point to this being the right focus for year one.
We can now confirm that the following modes will be available when you purchase NHL 15 on PS4 and Xbox One* on September 9:
As part of the move to next generation consoles, our team is focused on delivering significant content updates post launch. We plan to listen and work with you to improve NHL 15. Our commitment is to continue to optimize the gameplay experience for you in the months to come, as well as deliver new game content throughout the year for free.
Given our commitment to build a truly new generation of hockey games for our fans, we had to make some tough design decisions. I’m writing this to let you know that despite our team’s best effort to squeeze as much into the game as possible at launch, we will not be able to deliver EA SPORTS Hockey League or Online Team Play when NHL 15 releases on September 9 for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
ONLINE TEAM PLAY (OTP):
OTP will be rolled out as part of our NHL 15 content update program. We’re close to having it done, but our priority is to deliver a quality experience that’s stable for you, the players, and we still have some testing work to do. We’ll have more information for you on the schedule closer to launch. Stay tuned to our channels for the latest updates.
EA SPORTS Hockey League (EASHL):
As a franchise, we’re 100% committed to the EA SPORTS Hockey League. While we can’t deliver EASHL in NHL 15 on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, we have huge plans for the mode in future iterations of the game. We will be putting together a small EASHL committee made up of you, the fans, to ensure that we deliver an experience that is bigger and better than any of us would have imagined when we first introduced the feature in NHL 09.
Decisions like this are never easy, nor do we take them lightly. We know that there is a passionate group of fans that loves these modes and is no doubt disappointed with this news; but we also know that this same group of fans expects a high quality gameplay experience above anything else. We’re a franchise built on quality, so launching these modes without confidence in their quality wasn’t something that we were willing to do.
We thank you for the passion you have for our game. We looking forward to bringing you a next generation hockey experience this September that will continue to evolve and improve with your feedback post launch.
Sean, Producer, EA SPORTS NHL