In an ideal world, a sports video game’s multiple season mode – whether you call it Be a GM, Dynasty Mode or Franchise Mode – should be engaging even if you simulate the games.
While other series get Spike Lee to write scripts for storylines in modes or go in-depth in other ways, EA’s NHL series has been a little bare bones.
Honestly, when NHL 16 tried to incorporate locker room politics with chemistry considerations, it mostly fell flat.
So, it’s important to keep optimism guarded … but NHL 17’s revamped mode – now named Franchise Mode rather than Be a GM – sure looks promising, as you can see from the video above this post’s headline.
EA goes into almost exhaustive depth about the changes here, but let’s pick out a few highlights.
- While previous versions involved owner’s expectations, they seem a lot more detailed. Some are more profit-oriented while others want team success. Their patience for rebuilds also range, which could be fun if it means you’ll have to weigh immediate improvement vs. better long-term planning.
- As we discussed before, relocation is possible.
- Dynamic Attendance seems interesting, especially in the way it might prompt fans of various teams to further claims that certain fans merely hop on bandwagons:
Going on a winning streak will bring in more casual fans, having a hardcore fan base will minimize fans deciding not to show up if you are on a losing streak. Having a high-profile team or a division rival can bring in extra walk up fans, but playing against a basement dweller in the standings or pricing your tickets too high can drive away potential attendees.
Many of us enjoy turning a moribund franchise into a winner in these video games, so adding more interesting variables could really make for a better simulation.
- You’ll be able to tweak ticket prices and promotions, meaning you can have Johnny Gaudreau bobblehead nights and enjoy the corny jokes that would come with them. (“It’s to scale!”)
Different people play games for different experiences. Some want to be a general manager, others want to go deep into the card-collecting HUT mode or play as a single player in EASHL.
If NHL 17 can make big improvements with Franchise Mode, it could really appeal to management types who might not even enjoy the actual gameplay.
We’ll see if it works out, but the potential is there.
More looks at the game