Sunday, 17 June 2007

Update: Two Years Too Late

I had made mention five days ago about how Eric Staal will be appearing on the cover of EA Sports NHL 08. Well, EA Sports has decided to add another new feature, and one that I am extremely happy about. EA Sports announced on June 12, the same day they announced that Staal will be appearing as the coverboy, that they will be including all 29 AHL teams as playable teams in NHL 08. Why does this make me happy? I am a fan of AHL hockey. I like watching the kids trying to earn an NHL job. And since the AHL has never been featured in a game before, this is an excellent marketing tool for the NHL and the AHL. If you want people to notice you in North America, you need to market yourself to that group of people. Will it result in greater NHL ratings? Probably not, but it is noteworthy that a minor league will be included on a major league game.

From the AHL's website:

"The American Hockey League will be featured in the new NHL® 08 game from EA Sports, with all 29 teams from the primary development league for the NHL fully playable."

"NHL 08 will feature an exclusive AHL license for the first time, with all 29 teams from the primary development league for the NHL fully playable in game."

"The EA SPORTS NHL franchise is the #1 selling hockey game and the #1 selling sports game in Canada. NHL 08 is being developed under the EA SPORTS by EA Canada in Vancouver, B.C. The game will be available for the PLAYSTATION®3 system, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360™ video game system from Microsoft, and PC."

In relation to that last paragraph, the NHL franchise is the #1 selling sports game in Canada. Hopefully, the inclusion of the AHL teams will make AHL cities a little warmer to the idea of the NHL franchise, and promote the viewing of hockey on television.

Hey, a guy can dream, right? Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Jibblescribbits said...

I actually think this is a great promotional thing, I mean Every little bit helps, and then when a player gets called up late in the season, some kid may have heard of him and then builds an affection towards him.

If anything, it can't hurt at all

Anonymous said...

The AHL was also featured in Greatzky 06, where you could play as any of the 27 05-06 ahl teams. It wasnt perfect, since there were only 27 ahl teams and 30 nhl teams, the game featured teams like ahl-florida, ahl-edmonton, and ahl-colorado, teams that were part of a duel affiliation.

I hope that NHL 08 does a very good job with this, I assume they will do better than the Gretzky game! Im excited for the release!