A blog post from the development team on the official EA NHL page notes that the game will launch in October instead of the usual September due to “extraordinary circumstances” most likely related to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve had to make major adjustments in developing the game from home,” the statement reads. “This transition has been very successful and we’re happy to say that the game is on track and feature-complete against our original vision, we just need a few extra weeks to do the polish, fine-tuning and bug fixing.”
NHL 21 will launch on current-gen consoles in October, but a next-gen version for PS5 or Xbox Series X won’t arrive later down the line, although the game will be playable on said consoles via forward compatibility. “For NHL 21, we made the decision to focus on adding innovation and new features rather than the resource-heavy task of porting the game to new console technology,” the quote reads. “We are fully focused on launching NHL 21 on the Xbox One and PS4 and look forward to the opportunities the next-gen systems will bring in the future.”
The development team also revealed that we’ll be getting a “first look” at NHL 21 in late August, in order to showcase the new features coming to the game this year. To thank players for their support, the team have also provided some complementary HUT packs in the NHL 20 store and WOC bags which players will be able to find in their in-game inventory. We reviewed NHL 20 in September of last year, scoring it a 7.9 and praising its reworked shooting mechanics.
Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.
Source: IGN Video Games All