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View Full Version : We need a new hockey game on pc



LGM
27-12-2011, 03:20 AM
It's now been over 3 years since EA dropped the PC versions of it's NHL franchise, which, sadly, was no great loss, as they continued to get worse and worse while the console versions got better and better, culminating in the disaster that was NHL 2009 for PC, a hockey game that barely equaled NHL '95 for SNES in terms of gameplay.

I think an indie developer should create a hockey game and fund it by selling access to alpha builds and beyond, like Minecraft. This would of course result in a great hockey game, what with the community involvement, and even without an NHL license it could be successful, so long as it's a great game. NHL games were actually pretty popular on PC back in the day, there was (and still is, actually) a pretty healthy modding community for older NHL games like NHL 2004, etc..

Would you buy into a new hockey game for PC?

JohnnyK
27-12-2011, 12:15 PM
I don't think an indie dev can pull this off. For it to have any mass appeal, it needs to look pretty, so you need an engine - which means licensing costs as indie devs probably do not have the resources to write their own. Next, as much as I loved to play the NHL games as a casual hockey fan, the target audience is still a rather small group among gamers - so the earning potential seems to be limited. Especially without an NHL license, as this is probably the best marketing tool for such a game; sure, the community could provide, but that's already an extra step people need to go through.

Sorry, I just don't see it.

metalangel
27-12-2011, 12:17 PM
I think an indie dev would be far better off going down a retro route, making it look and play like the old 16 bit games of legend, specifically NHL 93, 94 or 95 (94 in my case).

thegooseking
27-12-2011, 01:13 PM
Especially without an NHL license, as this is probably the best marketing tool for such a game; sure, the community could provide, but that's already an extra step people need to go through.

Maybe it doesn't have to be NHL. I think it would be interesting to see a KHL game or an SM-liiga game or something. Probably not an EIHL game; nobody wants to see that. I know EA NHL itself includes other leagues these days, but it would be interesting to see some other game put another league front and centre.

I'm also pretty sure a hockey game that centred on a European league (perhaps especially the KHL) would have a much better chance of turning up on PC.

Of course, that doesn't really make it any more practical to do.

DigitalSignalX
27-12-2011, 05:19 PM
I believe there are already mods that update previous EA NHL games to modern rosters. Unless you're really wanting a new engine and/or there are eventually new expansion teams after a while - it's pretty much impossible because of the licensing costs to do anything from a small publisher.

LordHuggington
27-12-2011, 05:47 PM
An indie dev would probably have an easier go making something akin to NHL Blitz, or going the retro route as metalangel suggests, than to make a full-fledged successor to EA's game.

LGM
27-12-2011, 11:00 PM
the target audience is still a rather small group among gamers - so the earning potential seems to be limited.

Sorry, I just don't see it.

You're way off. Hockey is HUGE across much of the world, and I believe the potential audience for a good hockey game (read: not an EA hockey game) is massive. It's a much bigger audience than there is for weirdo games like LoL and DOTA, which are for some insane reason e-sports when actual sports games should be e-sports. (off topic, but where are fighting and racing games in e-sports?)

LGM
27-12-2011, 11:14 PM
I think an indie dev would be far better off going down a retro route, making it look and play like the old 16 bit games of legend, specifically NHL 93, 94 or 95 (94 in my case).

I agree completely, and in fact I think most people prefer playing from a pulled back, 3/4 perspective instead of playing with the camera down at ice level. And 'retro' graphics can be done so smoothly these days without having to be all blocky and whatnot that even an indie studio can whip up a beautiful game of stick and puck :) It's really all about the controls with hockey games, IMO.

LGM
27-12-2011, 11:19 PM
Maybe it doesn't have to be NHL. I think it would be interesting to see a KHL game or an SM-liiga game or something. Probably not an EIHL game; nobody wants to see that. I know EA NHL itself includes other leagues these days, but it would be interesting to see some other game put another league front and centre.

I'm also pretty sure a hockey game that centred on a European league (perhaps especially the KHL) would have a much better chance of turning up on PC.

Of course, that doesn't really make it any more practical to do.

Yup, there's more leagues out there than the NHL, even putting leagues like the WHL/QMJHL/CHL/AHL in a game would be awesome. I think EA has put some minor leagues in their games lately, but being EA, you have to put up with EA's nonsense to play them lol.

Fumarole
28-12-2011, 01:30 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enQKqmo5VuM

LGM
28-12-2011, 03:21 AM
ROFL, that's hilarious! It looks like the QWOP of hockey games lol.

Scumbag
28-12-2011, 10:54 AM
FPH game? (First person hockey)

If an indie developer made a hockey game why would it need licencing of any kind? Even if it were a minor league it would possibly cost more and then would possibly be off-putting if people saw it as a "Down in the duldrums" bunch of teams. Not played any footy games for years, but I'm sure it used to be the ISS series had fictional player names with good play, while FIFA had a licenced personality cult and bog standard play. Sure a Hockey game would fare just as well.

IDtenT
28-12-2011, 11:26 AM
Just make it field hockey. Right? :P

JohnnyK
28-12-2011, 12:17 PM
You're way off. Hockey is HUGE across much of the world, and I believe the potential audience for a good hockey game (read: not an EA hockey game) is massive. It's a much bigger audience than there is for weirdo games like LoL and DOTA, which are for some insane reason e-sports when actual sports games should be e-sports. (off topic, but where are fighting and racing games in e-sports?)
I think you are massively overestimating the potential of such a game on PC; apart from piracy I'd guess the major reason sports games become rarer and rarer on PC is that consoles are ideal for those. Hop on the couch, play the game on a big screen, maybe even with friends etc.

And the hockey appeal is IMHO much smaller than you estimate - it's definitely behind soccer, football and basketball, and there's all the racing games to contend with as well.

I say this is a huge sports nut who played sports games almost exclusively in the 90s (heck, I was the commissioner of an NBA league for years) who'd surely check out a new hockey game.

DzX
28-12-2011, 12:34 PM
It's a much bigger audience than there is for weirdo games like LoL and DOTA,

No...no it isn't. LoL has more players than WoW, and Dota is estimated to have between 7 - 14 million consistent players [it's very popular in China apparently]. Compare that to FIFA 2012, which sold about 4 - 6 million across all platforms.


which are for some insane reason e-sports when actual sports games should be e-sports.

Why? There is more strategy and skill needed in a game of Dota than there has ever been in any recent Sports game title. Sports games are designed for casual-gaming sports fans, not to be e-sports.

BillButNotBen
28-12-2011, 01:08 PM
I can only speak as a brit with experience of living in a few countries, but I don't think hockey is a particularly big sport. (particularly if we're talking about only ice hockey - globally i'd imagine that even field hockey is bigger). Personally I always thought it was more fun than footie and most other sports, but I was always in a minority.

IF it was a "real" sports game, I can't see it working without a license, and it seems EA has those tied up. Unless someone could come up with a microtransaction driven online/mmo style model.

However, some kind of bloodbowl style hockey game might be a viable option - fast and furious and violent. After all, Hyperblade rocked.

LGM
28-12-2011, 01:21 PM
I don't think a lot of people realize how big hockey is. There's at least 10 million hockey fans in Canada alone (probably more like 15-20 million), and probably at least 25% of them are gamers. Europe/Eastern Europe, hockey is hugely popular, I have no clue as to the numbers there though. Then there's Russia, where hockey is just as popular as it is in Canada, so there's another minimum 10 million fans, and then there's the USA where there's probably 20+ million hockey fans, maybe a lot more.

So yeah, hockey's pretty big. I think the way around piracy for a PC sports game is to make it F2P, as is the general trend right now.

DzX
28-12-2011, 01:44 PM
I don't think a lot of people realize how big hockey is.

As already proven with FIFA [Football / Soccer being a much more popular sport], number of fans of the sport does not equate to the number of copies of a game sold. Furthermore, you're asking for this game on the PC - the niche gaming platform.