After seven years, EA Sports may finally moving the NHL series to the Frostbite engine with NHL 22.
A Reddit user by the name of u/Froggendiedtowolves recently came across a LinkedIn profile for an EA Sports software engineer. In his profile, the engineer stated that he was working on NHL 22 and the series’ migration over to Frostbite. After being discovered, the profile was then edited to remove mention of NHL 22 and Frostbite.
Since 2014, the EA Sports NHL series has utilized the Ignite engine developed by the company specifically for sports games. While other EA Sports titles like Madden and FIFA have jumped to the Frostbite engine in recent years, NHL has remained on the older engine throughout its entire run on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Because it remained on Ignite, many fans have felt the series has become a bit stale in visuals and gameplay. With NHL 22, that appears to be changing.
Is NHL 22 on Frostbite a Good Thing?
There’s a lot of discussion back and forth regarding a move to the Frostbite engine for NHL 22. Is there any benefit at this point? Why not just introduce a brand new engine made specifically for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X hardware?
Well, as we’ve seen with Madden and FIFA, the Frostbite engine will lead to better overall visuals for the game. But, because the engine was built originally for use in first-person shooters, it’s tough to think that gameplay will be drastically improved to players’ liking.
One thing that’s definitely a plus is that the move to Frostbite could lead to the series finally returning to PC. The NHL franchise hasn’t had a PC release since NHL 09 13 years ago. The move to Frostbite saw Madden finally come back to PC, and it’s hard to believe that wouldn’t be the case for NHL as well.
NHL 21 finally saw drastic improvement in the game’s single-player Be-A-Pro mode as well as continued the Franchise Mode’s improvements to pre-NHL 15 levels. Hopefully for everyone, an engine and console generation leap won’t lead to the same mistakes that NHL 15 made where a stripped down version was released.
Sports Gamers Online has reached out to EA Sports regarding the NHL 22 to Frostbite rumor. Should an response be received, the article will be updated accordingly.