NHL 15 is EA’s first foray into Hockey on the current generation. Last year’s game was not earth shattering, but thats okay, it was still an amazing package, was filled to the brim with modes and features. Had they just brought that experience over to the current generation with some improved graphics, I knew I would have been pretty happy with it. And that was not unreasonable since Madden and FIFA came to current generation systems mostly unscathed. EA even told us they would wait a year to get NHL on current generation systems so that they could do it right.
EA Sports released some information about the sales of NHL 12 earlier today. The sales of the NHL series is rarely touted by EA, so this was an odd one for me initially. NHL 12 sold through more than 451,000 copies in it’s first week which brought in a cool $27 Million for EA Sports. While this is not necessarily a massive number for EA (Madden 12 sold over 1.4 million copies in it’s first week), its definitely a good sign for the series. Despite liking the game a lot as a hardcore player of the EA NHL series, I did feel as though for casual gamers at large that the game may have started to look long in the tooth.
Sales were also announced to be up 19% from NHL 11’s first week at retail. One has to wonder how much influence the Season Ticket program played into this, as it did give a chance for a bunch of Madden fans who wouldn’t normally buy the NHL games to try it out. Also, the return of the Winnipeg Jets may have had an impact as it immediately made last year’s game obsolete and may have brought in a whole bunch of new Jets fans to the series.
EA also announced that they are bringing NHL Superstars, a free-to-play card based game in the same vein as Madden NFL Superstars and FIFA Superstars, to Facebook next month.
Heres the full press release:
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – September 20, 2011 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced the record-breaking launch of NHL® 12. Based on internal estimates, NHL® 12 had its biggest launch week in franchise history with more than $27 million generated at retail worldwide. First week unit sales of NHL® 12 were up 19 percent across Europe and North America. The game launched Sept. 9 in Europe and Sept. 13 in North America.
EA SPORTS™ also announced that the NHL franchise will be expanding with NHL® Superstars*, a free-to-play social game on Facebook®. NHL Superstars will bring an all-new NHL experience to millions of hockey fans by enabling players to build and manage their ultimate team of professional hockey players. With dynamic and accessible gameplay, fans can compete head-to-head in games against their Facebook friends from around the world. NHL Superstars will be available in early October.
“The fan response to NHL 12 has been incredible, and we’re delighted to expand the franchise to Facebook next month,” said Andrew Wilson, Executive Vice President, EA SPORTS. “NHL 12 is our most exciting hockey game ever, with more than 300 gameplay improvements and the ability to play with some of the NHL’s greatest legends.”
Among the additional notable accomplishments for NHL® 12 since its launch on September 13 in North America and September 9 in Europe:
- NHL® 12 sold through more than 451,000 copies at retail worldwide in its first week.
- Fans logged more than 6.9 million online connected game sessions last week (Sept. 13-19), which marks the most online games played in one week in franchise history and 17 percent more than last year’s opening week.
- Each day last week, an average of 86 total hours of online gameplay of NHL® 12 were played by fans – the equivalent of more than 70 full NHL seasons of action every single day.
- NHL 12 has earned 17 review scores of 90 or better around the world, including a perfect mark from Gaming Age who said “NHL fans need to buy NHL 12 if only to play the best representation of the sport ever created.” GameTrailers proclaimed that “NHL 12 refuses to say that amazing is good enough,” while Game Informer raves “NHL 12 is strongest where it counts – on the ice.”
NHL® 12 authentically captures hockey as it is played on the ice with more than 300 gameplay refinements highlighted by three key innovations: Anticipation AI, Dynamic Goalies and the Full Contact Physics Engine. Anticipation AI takes NHL 12 to the next level as players will now intuitively determine their next move by reading and anticipating the play. With the Full Contact Physics Engine, size and strength matter. NHL12 continues to innovate by giving you true to life collisions and control over the battles around the crease. With Dynamic Goalies, goalies are live for the first time ever. Players can make contact with goalies as they crash the crease and goalies will battle through traffic in front of the net as they fight through screens to make awe-inspiring saves.
New in NHL® 12 is the introduction of legends; nine former NHL greats – including Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, and Mario Lemieux – will be integrated into the game across virtually every mode, including the all-new Be A Legend Mode. Be the next great legend in the revamped Be A Pro mode. Play as your created pro and earn every shift on the ice with stellar play, big hits, and spectacular goals as you progress towards greatness.
Update: An image of the Winnipeg Jets in NHL 12 surfaced today, showing the Jets wearing black jerseys which seem to match the generic NHL jerseys that were given out at this year’s NHL draft to their draft picks.
The Winnipeg Jets, formerly the Atlanta Thrashers, still have not unveiled their jerseys for the upcoming season due to concerns of counterfeiting. Therefore, there has been some uncertainty to the status of the Jets jerseys in regards to EA Sports NHL 12. Zack Cooper, host of Got Game on Sportsnet Radio – FAN 590, was in attendance at today’s Microsoft’s X11 Canada Showcase for games which are coming soon to the Xbox 360 platform. Members of the NHL 12 development team were in attendance, and he tweeted the following tidbit from the event.