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.
September for me officially kicks off the fall gaming season, some of the biggest games of the year will be coming out in the coming months, so here is my personal top 5 games for you to get this September. Obviously some of you guys won’t agree with me 100% but I really don’t care. All kidding aside, I think this list takes in all what is going to be good this month. These will be in order of the games I want the most with number 1 being the game that I really want this September.
So I kick this list off with a sports game, so already you guys know that I am a big sports fan. Soccer not being favorite sport to watch but I love the video games. This month we have the release of EA’s next entry in their long running Soccer simulation series, FIFA Soccer. This game looks to improve in all aspects of lasts years fantastic football sim. The game has so many new gameplay refinements that listing them would take hours. The developers really did an amazing job with this game and I am definitely adding this one to my library come September 27th.
The next game on my list is probably my favorite game from the Nintendo Gamecube, Resident Evil 4. This game was the perfect mix of survival horror genre and the action/adventure genre. I remember playing this game numerous times in my high school days and now its coming back in glorious HD. This game is being released to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the Resident Evil franchise and in my opinion they chose the right game to illustrate all that is good from this franchise. The only downfall is that this game is coming out on the same day as Gears of War 3, so I’m guessing a lot of people will look right past it when it hits the shelves on September 20th, which is very unfortunate.
This game might surprise some people by being on my list and it could be even more surprising that I put it at number 3. Well the reason why it is on my list, is that there are not many hardcore games for Kinect and this japanese developed game could show other developers what they could do on the platform. I have no idea how this game will end up playing like when I use it with my Kinect, but the possibility to be able to play a survival horror game on my Kinect makes me want to try to like no mater how bad it might end up being. I give props to the guys making this game for taking a risk that might end up being a total hit or miss.
If Gears of War 3 came out when it was supposed to it would be at the number one spot, but by now we have all had enough of the videos, screens and betas for the game. All I want now is for the game to be in my console. There is really nothing new I can say about the game since everything has pretty much all been said, but the level of detail in the characters and the environments make me want to drool all over my screen. The game by now is done and has started to be printed so unless a huge natural disaster ends up destroying the factory where its being printed, the game will be on store shelves on the 20th.
Topping off the charts is NHL 12. I am a huge hockey fan and every year I anticipate the next hockey game released by EA. This year they promise to add a whole bunch of new gameplay refinements to make the game feel even better. I am going to be getting this game on the 12th bright and early, so I can start my Be a GM mode with my team, the Montreal Canadiens. This game is such a blast to play with friends in either the versus mode or in the EA Sports Hockey League. After playing the demo, I am even more excited for the release of the game. I hope to see you guys on the ice on the 12th and who knows, maybe the Habs will win the Stanley Cup this year in the game and in real life, how amazing would that be ? The drive for 25 starts on the 12th!
Firstly, the demo is available right now, for those who don’t have it already, and after downloading the file which is bigger than a gigabyte we will be greeted with the same EA Sports intro that we have all come to love. The demo features three different modes, including Play Now, Hockey Ultimate Team and Be A Pro. The mode that players will go to first is Play Now, which features a rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup finals featuring the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks. You start out by picking whichever team you want and you get to play the third period of the game. Since I played usually on Superstar on NHL 11, I decided to play at the same difficulty so I could gage how much the game has changed.
For the most part the game feels like NHL 11, which don’t get me wrong is not bad in any way. It’s just that the changes that have been made in NHL 12 are a lot more subtle. The skating has been improved a bit, but the game still doesn’t feel like real skating, the players still “float” around the rink a little too much for my liking. As for the AI, the game has improved a bit with your teammates heading more towards the net and not going off-side for dumb reasons. Last year the playing crashing the net would just go in front and would end up being human targets getting all the shots straight on them. In NHL 12 the players actually try to screen the goalie and attempt to tip the puck when you take a shot from the point. After finishing up my game, which I lost 3-2 in a shootout, I felt like the game was not NHL 12, but more like NHL 11.5. The changes are very subtle and the game feels mostly the same. The two other modes that are in the demo don’t really give us anything to be ecstatic about.
In the end, if you wanted to play the demo before the game came out to make your decision on whether or not to buy the game; I don’t think the demo really does anything to make you want to spend your hard earned money on it. Be sure to check out our review of the full game, when it hits store shelves on September 13th. Abdul will have all the things you want to know about the game.
Additionally, Abdul Ahmad did his own NHL 12 Demo Impressions in video form with commentary here:
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.