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EA NHL's Decline into Crude Individualism

From 1992 to 1996, the game covers for EA's NHL game featured multiple players, sometimes depicted generically. It reflected those factors that makes professional hockey unique from basketball and baseball: it is the quintessential *team* game. EA's commitment to game play seemed to reflect this. But then EA diverged from respecting this part of the hockey culture. Since 1997, the focus has been on "the super star" - on the cover and in the game - and the game has devolved into crude individualism.

Now we here from William Ho, the creative director that “In recent years, the NHL has seen a bit of a culture shift ... It used to be — Hey, it's about the team. The crest on the front matters more than the name on the back." Now, however, it apparently *is* about the name on the back, more so than before, and the franchise will only be worse for it. It's also a load of crap. Even Don Cherry, the most flamboyant individual in the history of the sport, understands that hockey is governed by a code of humility and team solidarity. Subban and Mathews certainly understand it.

My only guess is that Ho and others at EA either (1) don't understand the sport, or (2) think of sports culture as monolithic, which allows them to confused hockey culture with that of basketball or baseball, or (3) they just don't care and want to impose a completely foreign ethos of superstar worship on the game because it's, well, profitable.


  • WainGretSki
    3660 posts Member
    edited September 2019
    To me it seems like EA wants every person holding a controller feel like a superstar. Dangle snipe celly is the quickest way to that route.

    I don't like it.
  • NHL 09 thru NHL12 it seemed like 80% of the goals were one timers, which is teamwork, passing, cycling, setting up plays, etc.

    Since NHL 13 it flipped, 80% of the goals seem to be breakaways and snipes from one man show dekes/skating.

    Bring back the teamwork aspect, enough of this breakaway and one man show krap!
  • I couldn't agree more ,but unfortunately this is the game EA wants this is what their vision of hockey is
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