EA have announced a raft of Franchise Mode features for NHL 17, before its release in mid-September.
Franchise Mode will be replacing the fan-favorite Be a GM mode. The renaming is due to the fact that your control will expand to the entire franchise. The mode is bigger than ever before, and there are a plenty of additions to go with it.
If you want a taste, check out their Franchise Mode trailer.
So, if they feel they’ve added enough depth to completely rename the mode, what exactly have they done?
The first person you encounter upon beginning your franchise career is the owner. Each owner has their own personality and set of goals, and there are three major factors to determine how likely you are to receive praise or get fired.
The first is spending. Your owner will have a budget that determines how much you will be allowed to spend on players, upgrades, and even promotional bubbleheads. Do you risk over-spending if you think a particular player will help bring home the Stanley Cup? It’s up to you.
The second factor is importance of success. This determines how much your owner values winning. Usually, an owner with a high rating for the importance of success will have a lower expectation that you stick to the budget. Although it means you will have more to spend on players, failure to meet their lofty objectives would likely result in you looking for another job.
The final factor is patience. If an owner has a high patience rating, he understands that it takes time for a new GM to make a team and a franchise work. He is less likely to fire you straight away if you don’t meet his objectives, allowing you time you build up prospects, or invest money into your stadium for future revenue increases. An owner with low patience likely expects you to spend money on buying the best players and achieving immediate success.
Your goals will have three tiers; primary, secondary, and stretch goals. The primary goal will be the one with the most affect on how your owner judges your success. Stretch goals will likely make the owner happy, but failing to meet the primary goal could be very bad news.
These goals will change over time based on your performance. If you were expected only to make the play-offs and you end up winning the whole thing, next year’s goals will take your success into account, and you might be expected to at least make the conference finals. Similarly, if your team has been struggling for a while, expectations will dwindle too, allowing you to rebuild the team without worrying too much about success.
If you want to look at the owner’s happiness rating, there is an Owner Goals menu. Keeping your owner happy is key to keeping your job. EA have provided a snippet of the factors involved in owner happiness:
Arena and Facilities:
As a GM, your responsibilities are over more than just the team on the ice. There are plenty of other decision you must make regarding the facilities and game-day experience, trying to strike a balance between maximizing revenue and attendance. There are several options available to you.
- Set Prices: As with most businesses, your major revenue will come from selling stuff. Season Tickets, Game Tickets, Concessions, Merchandise and Parking will all have prices set by you. There will be a recommended range, but it is up to you how much you value money over your fan’s happiness. Remember, though, if fans aren’t happy, they won’t buy your extraordinarily high game tickets, so be careful.
- Upgrade and Maintain: You may upgrade Concessions, Team Store, Parking and Club Seats up to 5 levels. Each level will give you another saleable item as well as new features. As you play home games the maintenance level of all of you items will drop, and you will have to keep them up to scratch, otherwise your fans will be unhappy.
- Arena Cutomisation: You will have to option to improve the game-day experience with Arena Customisation. From here you can improve structural elements, as well as lighting and music.
- Team Rankings and Sales: Here you’ll get to compare yourself to the rest of the NHL and see how you stack up compared to the best and worst of them.
The size of the crowd will be determined by a number of factors. Success is a major driving factor behind crowd attendance, however a loyal fan base will keep them coming even if you’re performing poorly. Highly ranked games –whether it be two popular teams, rivals, or an important playoff game – will see plenty of interest, while a team with poor standings and high ticket prices will see a much diminished attendance.
With the approval of ownership, you can choose to move your franchise to one of 19 cities. Each city will have different attributes, which will affect your team’s likelihood of success there. You will have to adjust your negotiating tactics accordingly.
Once you have come to agreement you have the opportunity to customize your stadium and your uniforms.
When you inherit a team you inherit a budget. This determines how much money you will have to spend, and is based on the Owner Goals. There is also a contingency fund, however some owners may not like you touching it, because they are much more interested in profit than success.
Once you have your budget you can spend your money on promotions. Promotions boost attendance, and therefore revenue, by enticing more customers. Make sure you don’t waste your money promoting a game that is likely to sell out anyway.
Season Ticket Drive:
It is your responsibility to kick off a season ticket drive in early March. You set the initial price, remembering to try to meet the fan’s expectations. The fewer season tickets you sell, the more will be available to the fickle walk-in customers. These fans are much less likely to stick around should things go badly, so make sure you’ve sold as many tickets as possible before that happens.
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