With the news that EA Sports, the makers of the NHL games, Madden, FIFA, etc. are finally bringing back their beloved college football game, it’s really made me think: will we ever see a college hockey video game?
Too often I’ve thought about how much fun it would be to play just a random game in a college arena with the fans chanting, the student section going nuts, and hearing the band in between whistles. And then imagine if, similar to the football games, the developer partnered with ESPN to get John Buccigross calling the games (check out our interview with him on episode 177). Just think of how great of a game that could be in its own right. To make it even better, think of how great of a change of pace that would be from EA’s NHL games. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m getting a little tired of the game basically just being about Threes and World of Chel.
To continue off of EA NHL though, I like to think of how much better the game could be if college can at least somewhat be involved. Maybe in franchise mode you can scout and draft college players, and watch them grow as they keep playing in college. Maybe a “play the Frozen Four” is an option for your Be a Pro as opposed to just the CHL and Europe. Even the slightest involvement of college into hockey video games adds such a new dimension to the games that is desperately needed. EA NHL could take a page from Madden’s book and a do a story line through college where you can play as one of 10 or so teams and your player actually speaks. I’m literally just throwing ideas out there right now but I would buy a game like that 10 times over.
Now that I’ve excitedly geeked out a bit, there’s obviously a big hurdle here. There are economic and legal reasons why we don’t have a college hockey game right now. The demand for it isn’t anywhere near that of college football, and it’s tough to justify starting the player rights issue with such little demand.
However, if we put aside the economics and legal aspect of it, we can really think creatively about what kind of involvement college hockey could have with future hockey video games. As I said before, maybe some kind of integration into the EA NHL games, but it’s even more fun to think about what kind of stand alone college hockey video game we could have. I like to think of doing a road to glory mode with a player and transferring him to the NHL games like you could do in the old college football games. Either that or doing a dynasty mode to turn no name school into the next Minnesota. I understand it’s a long shot, but with the announcement of college football games being back, I need a college hockey game