Jumping from one generation of consoles to the next is no easy feat for most developers, but that's especially true for developers who have to deliver a new game every year. Case in point EA Sports' NHL 15. Today EA confirmed the various game modes that will be included with the launch edition of NHL 15. They also, however, detailed how two modes will unfortunately not be ready for the game's big day for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. These omitted modes will be included on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Online Team Play, which lets players go online to play cooperatively, will not be available at launch. EA Sports does plan to add the popular multiplayer mode to the game at a later date. Specifically, EA Sports says, "OTP will be rolled out as part of our NHL 15 content update program." The assumption we can make from that statement is that OTP will be part of the paid DLC that EA loves to staple onto each of its games. Fans are certain not to be happy.
EA Sports Hockey League will also not be included with NHL 15 at launch. Unlike OTP, however, there are no plans to add the Hockey League mode at a later date. EA Sports notes that they have big plans for the mode in future iterations of the game, but unfortunately the team does not have the time to add it this year.
Onto the core game modes that EA Sports has confirmed will be included in NHL 15:
- Play Now
- Be A Pro
- Be A GM
- Online Versus
- Hockey Ultimate Team
- NHL Moments Live
Altogether, EA Sports is adding all of the main modes that are core to the experience with each year's release. Obviously OTP is a disappointing omission, but knowing EA they measured out which mode was played the least and decided these are the important ones and OTP is not one of them. Fans who do want the mode will certainly be willing to pay extra to help the developers make the mode post-launch. Or something like that.
Closing out the announcement, EA Sports provided a rather endearing apology to its fanbase. Good on them for at least noting that a portion of the NHL 15 audience will be disappointed in their decisions:
"Decisions like this are never easy, nor do we take them lightly. We know that there is a passionate group of fans that loves these modes and is no doubt disappointed with this news; but we also know that this same group of fans expects a high quality gameplay experience above anything else. We’re a franchise built on quality, so launching these modes without confidence in their quality wasn’t something that we were willing to do."
NHL 15 will be available starting September 9 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. I'll note again that these two omitted modes will only not be available in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases. They'll still be included and working on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.