Exclusive: "If There's People Out There Who Don't Watch Hockey Every Single Night, That's OK"
Friday, Oct 21, 2011 2:00PM
With popular sports titles like Madden 12, NBA 2K12 and FIFA 12 getting a lot of mainstream publicity as of late, EA Sports producer Sean Ramjagsingh talks to SOHH about his NHL 12 hockey game holding its own in a competitive industry.
Admitting diehard NHL franchise fans are always a primary focus, Sean said there is an emphasis on trying to scoop up the interest of initial non-hockey fans.
"First and foremost, we have some hardcore hockey fans that we have to cater to," Sean told SOHH. "They will appreciate all of the little things that we do. Those guys will appreciate every little improvement that we put into the game. But we also want to try and grow the sport of hockey as well. We want to not only cater to hockey fans but to sports fans as well. That's why we have things in the game like the Winter Classic. If there's people out there who don't watch hockey every single night, that's OK. The one game that they might watch is the Winter Classic. It's just a beautiful spectacle with players playing outside. As often as we can, we try to appeal to all the sports fans out there, especially with the non-hockey fans and trying to expose the sport to them." (SOHH)
The EA Sports game producer also talked about NHL's success among the youth.
"I think it's a little tougher to do with an older crowd, getting them to embrace hockey, but what we have seen with our game is people who play Madden and FIFA say, 'I'm not a hockey fan but I heard about the great reviews and I'm hearing nothing but good things about it. Although I'm not too familiar with hockey, I've heard it's a great game and maybe I'll try the demo.' That's what we're trying to get through with people. I've heard from numerous people saying, 'Hey man, thanks to you, I have to wake up tomorrow at 5:30 AM to take my kids to hockey practice. It's because of your game that I have to study hockey now and wake up early.' I've gotten kind of a sarcastic thank-you. [laughs]" (SOHH)
Recently, Sean named his Top 5 Reasons why people should cop the new title.
"By far the number one reason why you should purchase NHL 12 is because the legends are back. For the first time in the history of our franchise, we have nine NHL legends in the game. So you can finally answer that age old question that only we can replicate about how these great legends of the past would fare in the NHL today. With the legends that we chose, we have some current NHL players that can now face off against their bosses such as [Tampa Bay Lightning's] Steven Stamkos and [his general manager] Steve Yzerman. As you unlock each legend, you can actually play through their career." (SOHH 5 Reasons)
Overall the new game has received positive reviews.
Computer-controlled skaters now anticipate where the puck is going and are better at reading plays. You can interact more with the goalies by bumping or hitting them. The net comes off when players crash into it, and collisions and hard shots can break the glass. Helmets pop off and players can be knocked over the bench. EA Sports has upgraded its physics engine, so size and strength truly do matter. That means bigger hits and more muscling for the puck, and if you line up a skater just right, you can send him spinning. (Houston Chronicle)
Check out SOHH's inside look at NHL 12 below: