It’s not totally correct to say that Electronic Arts’ upcoming NHL ’12 title won’t have any competition. After all, there are many other distractions (such as movies and actual hockey games on TV) and plenty of different video games to choose from. That being said, the software giant won’t have to deal with the most direct type of competition in the form of another major NHL simulation.
2K Sports admitted that they won’t release NHL 2K12 on any console. If you may remember, the company “took a year off” from releasing a title for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles but did release a game for the Wii and less traditional platforms such as iPads and iPhones. The Wii version received middling reviews and didn’t exactly break video game sales records, either.
The NHL2K series reached its critical heights during the Xbox/Playstation 2 era, but 2K Sports didn’t really have an answer once video games jumped to the “next generation.” EA revamped its NHL series with a well-received “skill stick” and regained its traditional title as a critical darling. (By all accounts, EA’s games out-sold the NHL2K series even when many felt that their titles were inferior, but the gap grew wider on new consoles.)
It’s true that the NHL2K series was running on fumes, but it’s still saddening to see the title disappear altogether. Now EA Sports will enter the market without major competition for the 2011-12 season. It is unclear if the company will release a sequel to it’s Wii-only title “NHL Slapshot” at this time. The game doubled NHL 2K12’s sales but it is unclear if that matches their goals for the title.
We’ll keep you up to date regarding the biggest announcements about hockey video games, which will be limited to EA Sports’ titles next season.