Here is the latest from the developer Q & A for NHL 16 EA held via their new Ask EA NHL page. There are already some great questions and answers as well as some additional feature information, screenshots and videos. All questions, answers, videos and screenshots included below.

Will couch co-op return?

Yes, couch co-op is back for NHL 16

Does “Ice-Tilt” exist in HUT?

No. There are no game code decisions in any mode that give one team an advantage over another based on external factors. Everything is based on what the two competitors are doing with their controllers and the ratings of the players on the ice.

Will we see GM Connected again? If not, will we see a smaller scale of online dynasty type mode?

GM Connected was a highly requested feature that unfortunately failed in many ways. When we look a the data, only a very small number of leagues had more than 2 players per league and though the mode supported up to 25 years, very few leagues made it past the 20 game mark of season 1. We understand that that there were some issues with the overall speed of the mode. Moving forward we want to work with our fans to better understand their needs and expectations on what a great online dynasty for the new generation of consoles should deliver and where we fell short on GM Connected similar to the approach we took in bringing EASHL to NHL 16.

Will EASHL finally make the jump to the current generation of consoles for NHL 16?

Absolutely. As a franchise, we are 100% committed to the EASHL.

Most wanted are the comebacks of “Play a friend” in HUT and “EASHL”. Will those two modes be back?

EASHL is one of our biggest feature addition this year and rightfully so. In addition to bringing back the fundamentals of clubs, the team set out to re-establish balanced and competitive playing field where skill is the determining factor in who wins games. Working with members of our NHL community, we were able to focus on the most important aspects of the mode. For HUT, we are adding Single Player Seasons and HUT Play a Friend. Both of which are high on the community wish list for NHL 16.

What were the biggest challenges facing the NHL team transitioning from NHL 15 to NHL 16?

The biggest challenge was driving an aggressive pre-production with the team while working on content updates for 15 in parallel. Pre-production is the phase of the project where we do all of our feature planning. We are very happy with our NHL 16 feature set and are currently in the process of finalling which will take us until the end of June.

Are mascots in the game this year?

Yes. All of the NHL teams that have official mascots will have them in NHL 16. Screenshot Below:

NHL16_Mascot

What can we expect to see feature wise in the offline single player modes?

We have focused a lot of attention to our offline game modes in NHL 16 by adding features from previous iterations, while creating new experiences that we hope all are fans will enjoy. We added Season Mode allowing you to play with any of our 10 leagues in the game thru a season and playoffs. Be A GM has AHL/NHL integration, Fantasy Draft, Sim Intervention and a brand new feature in Player Morale. Be a Pro has the return of Sim to Next Shift, CHL/AHL integration, and a brand new player progression system. HUT will also include Single Player Seasons which allows players to have a fantasy manager experience without having to play against online competition.Video Below:

How much time do you guys get to really get into the meat and potatoes of upgrading the game for the new release?

The short answer is that is ‘as much as possible’. Putting a new game out every year is an aggressive development timeline so it’s important that the dev team is as efficient as possible. Literally, every day that goes by is a day that can be used to create new features for the next version of the game. Production on the next iteration usually begins in November with finalling ending in June.

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Curtis Knight
A fan of sports game since his first EA sports title Madden 93. "The Natural" has been an active member of the Sports Gaming community since joining the MWS in 2003. Having participated and won in the Madden challenge and countless other tournaments earlier in his career he has moved on to more of a sim style over the years. He is always looking to do what he can to push simulation style gaming forward.