The NHL and NHLPA announced in a release on Thursday that they extended their agreement with Electronic Arts, the company behind their annual video game, for multiple years.
EA’s latest version of the franchise, NHL 21, was released on October 16 and Alex Ovechkin was the cover athlete.
NHL 21’s release date was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing developers to finish the game remotely. Next year’s game will be EA Sports’ first release of the NHL franchise on the Playstation 5 and Xbox One.
EA Sports first staring their relationship with the NHL in 1991 and has been making hockey games for the last 29 years. Glenn Healy, then a goaltender for the Los Angeles Kings, was on the cover.
“All of these kids that you’re seeing playing in the NHL have pretty much grown up with our game and don’t know a world without our video game,” Sean Ramjagsingh, EA Sports’ executive producer of the NHL game, said to Sportsnet. “For a lot of people, our game is the first touchpoint to the sport of hockey which is really real exciting.”
EA Sports also announced a multi-year extension on Thursday with the UFC to continue making MMA video games.
More from the NHL:
Electronic Arts, NHL and NHLPA Extend Multi-Year Deal to Bring More Hockey Games to Millions
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. & NEW YORK (November 5, 2020) –Today, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced a multi-year renewal to their partnership. The new agreement will allow EA SPORTS™ to accelerate authentic and innovative hockey simulation experiences for millions of players worldwide for years to come.
The new agreement arrives as the world enjoys the widely successful EA SPORTS NHL®. EA SPORTS NHL® 21 for PlayStation®4 and Xbox One has generated mass engagement with both existing and new fans as it achieved the most daily active players at launch for the franchise in
the last three years. This year’s momentum builds upon incredible EA SPORTS NHL® growth as EA SPORTS NHL® 21 and NHL 94 Rewind*, the evolutionary take on the 16-bit classic, provides unique perspectives for all types of fans.
“We are thrilled to accelerate fun hockey experiences for years to come pushing the industry forward with our long-time NHL and NHLPA partners,” said Cam Weber, Executive Vice President & Group GM, EA SPORTS. “The EA SPORTS NHL franchise these past 30 years has become synonymous with hockey culture, and this extension will ensure it remains at the forefront of connecting millions of fans around the world to the sport through interactive entertainment.”
“EA SPORTS NHL continues to introduce new fans to the sport through its realistic and entertaining approach to the game,” said Brian Jennings, NHL Chief Brand Officer & Senior Executive Vice President. “The past eight months illustrates how EA is a critical extension to real-world sports, as fans turned to EA SPORTS NHL to play and watch hockey while we temporarily paused during the pandemic. Our shared approach for competitive gaming has enabled the league to create a touchpoint to younger fans who may experience the NHL for the first time through EA SPORTS NHL. Sustained connection that enhances fandom is what EA delivers and we look forward to continuing the incredible partnership.”
“The NHLPA is proud to renew our long-standing partnership with EA, ensuring their exceptional NHL hockey franchise will continue showcasing the players to fans around the world for the coming years,” said Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director. “The simulated experience of hitting the ice behind the console with EA SPORTS NHL continues to be an incredible way for fans to connect with the players and the game.”
The announcement follows the release of EA SPORTS NHL 21 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as Stanley Cup® winner Alex Ovechkin is the latest cover athlete in a long lineage of legends representing the EA SPORTS NHL® franchise. The also released NHL® 94 Rewind this year is illustrative of the indelible impact the NHL franchise has had on hockey culture and beyond, exemplifying the power of the nearly 30-year long partnership between the NHL, NHLPA, and EA.
NHL® 21 launched worldwide on October 16, 2020 for PlayStation®4 and Xbox One. Join the EA SPORTS NHL® community on Facebook and Instagram, or follow on Twitter @EASPORTSNHL. For more information about EA SPORTS, please visit http://www.easports.com.
*NHL 94 Rewind launched October 30, 2020 and is only available as an EA SPORTS NHL® 21 preorder incentive.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company develops and delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, mobile devices and personal computers.
In fiscal year 2020, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $5.5 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality brands such as EA SPORTS™ FIFA, Battlefield™, Apex Legends™, The Sims™, Madden NFL, Need for Speed™, Titanfall™ and Plants vs. Zombies™. More information about EA is available at http://www.ea.com/news.
EA SPORTS, Battlefield, Apex Legends, The Sims, Need for Speed, Titanfall and Plants vs. Zombies are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Madden, NFL and FIFA are properties of their respective owners and used with permission.
Headline photo: NHL
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