Not that it’s a surprise, but Electronic Arts has confirmed it will keep making more NHL games. The publisher has signed a new multi-year deal with the NHL and its player’s association to create more games in the future.
EA did not confirm the specific duration of the deal or how much it paid the hockey league for the rights. EA has been in business with the NHL for 30 years already, and EA Sports boss Cam Weber said in a statement, “This extension will ensure it remains at the forefront of connecting millions of fans around the world to the sport through interactive entertainment.”
NHL chief brand officer Brian Jennings said in a statement that EA’s NHL series helps bring new fans to ice hockey. Jennings added that, during COVID-19 lockdowns, people turned to EA’s series to get their hockey fix while the real sport’s latest season was delayed and impacted by the virus.
“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,” Jennings said.
NHL 21 launched on October 16, following a delay related to COVID-19. Another release, NHL 94 Rewind, came out on October 30 and is currently only available to those who preordered NHL 21.
NHL 21 will be playable on PS5 and Xbox Series X with some improvements, but EA did not create a dedicated next-gen version of the game. As such, NHL 22 will presumably be the first NHL game with a dedicated version for PS5 and Xbox Series X.
In addition to the NHL, EA has licensing deals in place with other gigantic sports leagues and organizations, including FIFA, NFL, and UFC.
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