Outdoor Games Need To Return To EA NHL Games

That last we saw of outdoor games was in the previous generation console NHL games, but once the next generation came out, the stadium games were no longer included. The reasoning behind this decision was solid. EA Sports is striving for authenticity and here at Frozen Faceoff, we certainly appreciate that. Since some of the events take place in baseball stadiums, and those stadiums were signed on exclusively with a competing company's game, EA could not include them in their game.

However, the outdoor events have become a major factor in the NHL the last several seasons, with the addition of the Stadium Series along with a few other open air events. This makes their absence even more noticeable each season.

Obviously this means some stadiums will not be true to life and that is ok. It is an unfortunate situation but it can't be helped. Previously, EA had created a "Phillies Ballpark" which looked more like some generic park than it did Citizens Bank Park. While fans noticed this change, it wasn't game breaking and it still created that baseball park atmosphere that brought back memories of the actual event. Add to that the shadows on the ice and it all felt pretty good.

While it was said that the Winter Classic mode was not played as much as other modes, that is not all that surprising. I think if this is going to work, the outdoor games also need to be incorporated into all appropriate game modes including season mode and franchise mode.

Going forward we are hopeful that EA will bring back outdoor games and include a few generic ballparks as well as true to life football stadiums. Add in some options like allowing the choice of day or night games and sun, clouds, rain, and snow for each stadium, and it will be even easier to overlook the generic nature of those ballparks. As an added bonus, we would love to see skating and puck physics altered based on conditions.

Our wishlist for NHL 18 outdoor locations...

  • Heinz Field - Pittsburgh
  • (Generic) Busch Stadium - St. Louis
  • Investors Group Field - Winnipeg
  • (Generic) Dodger Stadium - Los Angeles
  • Michigan Stadium - Ann Arbor
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