Recently, EA Sports held a media roundtable with a number of publications (SGO not being one of them) and answered questions regarding various elements of NHL 23. From development decisions to plans for after the game launches, here are the answers to some of the biggest questions posed to members of the development team.
NHL 23 launches on October 14 for Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Thanks to MP1st for the transcription of the answers. There are a number of other questions answered on their website, so check them out.
Top NHL 23 Questions
Q: Now with a year more of experience with the Frostbite engine, what improved or new things have you been able to do with it?
Clement Kwong (Lead Producer): Year One was just about getting Frostbite and the big lift in visual quality and the tie that really brings the entire game. This year, Year Two we want to be more focused and lean into what Frostbite is able to deliver in terms of engine. Really focus on creating the most immersive experience that we have ever seen. Everything from the presentation package, to the crowd atmosphere, to even things like the Stanley Cup celebration. All of the content creators were really excited about the immersion they were able to extend through from game to game.
Q: Will the camera shake for Away opponents when the crowd is loud?
Mike Inglehart: It’s a great idea, we don’t have any camera shake that we have added this year. The crowd itself is going to play a massive part in the experience. I think it’s really going to affect the energy and emotion. It’s definitely something I will write down after this and take away as we go forward with the franchise. I think the crowd is a very good surprise that I think people are going to enjoy. I think we did a good job thrusting people into the arena, taking you from the couch to that stadium seat. It is probably justified that the camera should shake given some of the reactions. But all in all I think it’s going to shake up the emotion and energy you feel, and really make the game more compulsive and bring you back to those big moments that we crafted and taken a lot of pride in this year.
Q: Could you recap on the improvements being made to EASHL?
Mike Inglehart: For this year the real focus we had was the cross-platform matchmaking. We can always add new features to every mode, every single year we spend on the game. I think it is important to take a step back and look at the foundation of the mode and what’s needed to set it up for the future. This feature in cross platform matchmaking was highly sought after for a long time and it was time to finally answer that bell and bring that forward. Without that, we can’t make the progress we want to make. We’ve put all of our energy into that, we want to have that there, so people can have a better experience overall. That sets us up for the future so we can now invest more into the mode, build it out, add some more breath of depth but we needed to start with cross-platform matchmaking and finally bring that to the forefront within the mode.
Q: How will NHL 23 handle the Arizona Coyotes playing in an NCAA arena?
Mike Inglehart: We do have them in a smaller rink for NHL 23. It’s not the replica rink that they are playing in real life. We wanted to make sure we are staying as authentic as possible. They will be in a smaller venue for NHL 23 and personally, I hope to get down to Arizona to watch Buffalo play there this year. I think it’s going to be quite interesting.
Q: Why hasn’t the NHL series added line brawls yet?
Sean Ramjagsingh: If you tie back to authenticity, in today’s games, so much focus on the skill and the creativity of the players. The fighting and the line brawls you see less and less of every single year. However, I will say that in the EA Sports Hockey League the occasional line brawl will still break out.
Q: Does the ice wear impact gameplay?
Mike Inglehart: There’s a small amount of friction that affects the puck. It’s not anything that really alters the game too much. We didn’t want to have to retune the entire game based on that puck friction because it affects a lot of things. ITs a small impact, you aren’t going to notice it.