Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Devolution of EA's NHL Series

The NHL video game series has been a love of mine for as long as it has been out. It has always been the one game that I could pick up and play at any time - a quick game here and there. When I got an XBOX 360 back in 2007, my online gaming quickly ramped up. The introduction of the EA Sports Hockey League is what made the game for me - allowing you to build you're own player and earn attributes as you play games and earn achievements.

NameLast PlayedGamerscoreDays played at least once
NHL® 14 12/21/2014 1:03:07 PM 165/1000 (17%) 206 days
NHL® 12 09/08/2012 23:35 235/1000 (24%) 196 days
NHL® 11 09/12/2011 0:04 430/1000 (43%) 172 days
NHL® 13 09/06/2013 23:15 315/1000 (32%) 159 days
NHL® 09 09/09/2009 23:12 420/1000 (42%) 157 days
NHL® 10 8/21/2010 12:07:10 AM 515/1000 (52%) 116 days
NHL® 08 03/06/2009 0:04 75/1000 (8%) 72 days
NHL® 07 8/22/2007 7:15:31 PM 1000/1000 (100%) Don't have accurate # of days but achieved 1000 gamerscore
Then came NHL 15... I was initially quite excited about it. It would the first game on the new generation of consoles. It would give me a reason to buy an XBOX One. NHL 14 wasn't released on the new console despite being a good candidate for the new console, giving the devs an extra year to work out the quirks of the XBOX One. NHL 15 was certainly hyped over the course of the year and excitement turned to worry which turned to dread as news finally game out right before release that NHL 15 would be missing most of the modes that made the game fun (at least for me.) Initially, I didn't get NHL 15 because there was no online league component. There was however a promise of a makeshift online play option (minus goalie control.) In the end, I bought an XBOX One with a deal that included a free game. I chose NHL 15 as I didn't want to pay for it. Still... I had hope that I would still be drawn into the game. After a number of months, here's where I stand with NHL 15:

NHL® 15 10/05/2014 30/1000 (3%) 2 hours

Please EA... I beg of you. Do not make the same mistake and leave out key pieces of the game that keep gamers interested. Without the online league component, the addiction was no longer there. On the one hand, it gave me back some of my life and sleep but I do miss the fun times.

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