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NHL 21 Launching in October, First Look Coming in August - No Next-Gen Version This Year

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NHL 21

NHL 21 Launching in October, First Look Coming in August - No Next-Gen Version This Year

EA Sports has provided an update on the status of NHL 21 today. Instead of the usual September release date, it will arrive sometime in October. This is due to “extraordinary circumstances” mainly transitioning from the workplace to home, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team will use this time to continue polishing and fine tuning the game, as well as squashing those pesky bugs.

This transition has been very successful and we’re happy to say that the game is on track and feature-complete against our original vision, we just need a few extra weeks to do the polish, fine tuning and bug fixing. We know some of you will be disappointed by this news, but our goal with NHL 21 is to deliver an experience that will be worth the wait.

As for next-gen consoles, there won’t be a true PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X version, only forward compatibility.

For NHL 21, we made the decision to focus on adding innovation and new features rather than the resource-heavy task of porting the game to new console technology. You’ll still be able to play NHL 21 on the next-gen consoles through forward compatibility but we are fully focused on launching NHL 21 on the Xbox One and PS4 and look forward to the opportunities the next-gen systems will bring in the future.

As many of you recall, NHL 14 had a similar situation, as it skipped out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, only to miss a megaton of features, when NHL 15 finally arrived on the new consoles the following year.

How many features were missing on NHL 15’s Xbox One, PlayStation 4 debut you ask? Here’s a list.

Modes/Features

  • No GM Connected
  • No Online Team Play (when this is patched into the game later this year, it will use real NHL players and teams)
  • No EA Sports Hockey League
  • No EA Sports Arena
  • No Online Shootouts
  • No Live the Life
  • No Be A Legend
  • No Winter Classic
  • No tournaments or Battle for the Cup
  • No season mode (you can only play seasons in Be A GM, which is limited to NHL teams)
  • No NHL 94 Anniversary mode
  • No custom music support
  • No create-a-play designer
  • Cannot customize each team’s AI
  • No create-a-team
  • No way to edit individual players
  • Practice mode is now limited to one skater vs. an AI goalie

Gameplay

  • No custom camera option
  • No Action Tracker replay highlights
  • No Top 3 Stars at the end of games.

Be A GM

  • Yearly draft is fully automated by the CPU
  • Cannot play the AHL games for your chosen franchise
  • Players sent down to the minors do not accumulate any season stats
  • No fantasy draft option
  • No preseason games

Be A Pro

  • No option to sim ahead to the next shift
  • You only play in the NHL; you cannot play for minor league teams
  • The Memorial Cup tryout period is gone. You now begin by picking an NHL team, or by letting a random CPU team draft you.
  • No All-Star game

Ultimate Team

  • Cannot play against your friends
  • No tournaments
  • No mobile app

Some of the above items were patched in later in the season, but it left a very sour taste in the mouth of many fans. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen with NHL 22.

With that said, if you’re an NHL 20 HUT fan, the Chel team has placed some complementary HUT packs in the store and WOC bags in your inventory.

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  1. Definitely disappointed in this news. This is the second time an NHL game didn’t come out for the next gen consoles.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    nikethebike
    That is probably to avoid releasing a rushed and buggy next gen version in that case.

    I mean, they did the same with 14, and then 15 on the PS4 was a masterpiece.
    ^How quickly we forget
    NHL 15 was one of the most embaressing things to be put out in the last decade. I'm all for them taking the year off if it means we're not gettin a stripped down title just so the game can look a little better
    They should have just updated NHL 20 with DLC for 2021 season. Focused on NHL 22 next gen etc.
    Honestly, I say this now, but i'm most likely not buying this. Such a waste.
    I think I like this decision by ea sports , its by far the best thing has happened to us, it gives us more time, to play it on PS4 and Xbox One X, gain more experience with it, i recently just got a 4k HDTV and HDR, I like it so much its addicting, it also gives them more time to fine tune the game for newer generation consoles, like they said work out bugs and stuff, gives them ability make fine product for PS5 and Xbox Series X, we might even get a complete product for NHL 22, excellent idea EA Sports, :p :laugh: :y220e:.
    I was just getting familiar with on xbox one x , great move!, see i wasn't familiar with it at beginning, am still not as familiar with it, am still experimenting with it.
    Rather them in general, focus on releasing an actual game every other year, with roster updates throughout every month or so during season etc. That way there would be improvements in the actual game. I have not bought the last 2 games (18 and 20) that i own, as i got them as gifts. I only really use Be a GM mode or the Be A Pro, with the occasional dabbling in custom uniforms. Much rather see them work on gameplay mechanics and get that right over HUT or any of the online 3s crap. Couldn't those be downloadable extras or even a stand along separate game you can purchase?
    But any who, any word on if 2k may jump back in? Miss that series
    Fiddy
    They should have just updated NHL 20 with DLC for 2021 season. Focused on NHL 22 next gen etc.

    That's probably what's happening anyway, they are just not such a "good guys" to say even that openly (despite their recent offensive political statements and activity)
    Yeah and they will also charge us full price. Well, I might be wrong technically, but... Let's see Lol
    Everyone saying it's good they are taking a year off so they can polish and fine tune things on Next Gen I guess you were not around for NHL transitioning to the PS4. 2014 No PS4 Version. 2015 like article mentioned they left out just about everything that made the game great on PS3 and 360 . This generation has been a complete disaster for NHL. Game got worse and player base non existent. Completely ruined EASHL Community. As long as Rammer is head of the NHL series this game will continue its downward spiral. He took over in 2012 and 2013 was his first real fingerprint on the game and it went south fast. I have a good 8 of us that use to play on PS3 EASHL that averaged 2000 plus Club games a year to none of us have bought the last 2 years of this unplayable zero fun game. The years we did get it on PS4 think we all hit 400 games and was like this isnt fun and nothing to grind for. Catering to Casual players killed this game.
    And NHL takes the lead on Madden for the laziest team who puts out the same flawed game every year. Might get a slight graphical upgrade on Madden on the next gen systems..............maybe
    I could honestly see this as their last game...they might fold if the interest dies because the game has gone to garbage. So sad, how a major sport just gets screwed in the video game realm. Can you imagine the NFL or NBA guys on this forum?...
    mkharsh33
    I could honestly see this as their last game...they might fold if the interest dies because the game has gone to garbage. So sad, how a major sport just gets screwed in the video game realm. Can you imagine the NFL or NBA guys on this forum?...

    Thats just not going to happen, man.
    The game gets too much attention and makes them too much money still...
    MizzouRah
    I look at it as a positive that they did a lot work improving NHL 21 instead of using resources for a stripped down next gen version.

    I generally agree and I had that thought myself but it makes it a no buy though.
    I hope the L2 will be even more powerful so i wont need any teammates to pass the toolless defence! With some new deke ill dance through defence without problem and i suggest Elvis Stoyko as cover boy to reflect my gaming style.

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