EA Deserves Credit For Improving the NHL Franchise

EA Deserves Credit For Improving the NHL Franchise

May 26, 2015 0 By Tim Finch

EA Sports NHL 16

Electronic Arts (better known as EA) has received a lot of backlash from gamers over the years. From the many issues with SimCity to the extremely stripped and boringly formulaic (and broken) sports games, it’s been rough going lately for EA and fans of their games. As a fan of the NHL sports game franchise dating all the way back to the glorious NHL ’94, I was very disappointed in NHL 15. It lacked a GM mode (something I personally love in sports games), “Be a Pro” and “Hockey Ultimate Team” modes, and, most glaringly, online couch co-op.

However, EA has heard the cries of anguish from the players and has done with NHL 16 what it should have done (read: continued doing) with NHL 15. Players will now have the aforementioned modes lacking from the current installment, as well as 6v6 online games that can now include couch co-op. Gamers will also be able to train their Ultimate Team players offline to improve their skills.

The response from gamers and the media has been positive to these game changes, yet all that positive energy is going to the game itself while people are still attacking EA for past transgressions. People seem to have taken the Nickelback approach with EA – it doesn’t matter what they do, people will hate on them because of things they’ve done in the past, and because it’s popular to do so.

But is this really productive for us as gamers and to the industry as a whole? Are we gaining anything from not giving credit to a developer for listening to the consumers? There’s nothing wrong with being critical of a company for putting out products that are unfinished and/or just plain bad, but you should also give them credit when they hear your complaints and give you what you wanted.

While many people harped on EA (including myself) because of the poor presentation of NHL 15, those same people aren’t giving EA credit for making the game better with the newest installment. I fully understand that NHL 15 should’ve never been as bad as it was, and that EA is simply backtracking on a lot of bad decisions to remove content (why it was removed in the first place I’ll never understand). But as gamers, if we’re going to cry foul on a company when they create a poor game, we should praise them when they listen to us and make the game we wanted all along. Otherwise, we’re not really consumers – we’re just mouth-breathing complainers.

NHL 16 is slated to release on PS4 and Xbox One in September 2015.

[Image via Polygon]