EA, 2K renew NHL license deals

Reported exclusivity offer iced; league ensures multiple hockey series for years to come.

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With tonight's game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals ready to bring the 05-06 National Hockey League season to a close, the league has announced its own fast-breaking two-on-one. The NHL and its Players Association today confirmed that they have both signed nonexclusive, multiyear license renewal agreements with Electronic Arts and 2K Sports. Each publisher now has the rights to produce NHL games for current-gen and next-gen consoles, including systems that haven't yet seen either company lace up the skates, like the PlayStation 3, Wii, and PlayStation Portable.

In December, it was reported that the NHLPA had signed an exclusive deal with EA, only to have the NHL check that idea clear over the boards. At the time, the two sides were coming off a labor dispute that wiped out the entire 04-05 season. However, the league seemed ready to drop the gloves again, as it reportedly refused to sign a licensing deal with EA until 2K Sports was cut into the NHLPA deal. The last time Electronic Arts had published a hockey game with only the NHLPA license was NHLPA Hockey 93. The game attained cult status in the 1996 film Swingers as "the one where you can make Wayne Gretzky's head bleed."

"NHL fans and consumers want more choices and extending our relationships with EA Sports and 2K Sports offers them the ability to choose the quality games they want to play," NHL senior vice president of consumer products marketing Brian Jennings said in a statement.

2K Sports' NHL 2K7 is set for release on the PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox, and PlayStation 2, while EA's NHL 07 will hit the ice later this year for the PSP, Xbox 360, PC, Xbox, and PS2.

Discussion

68 comments
Brenz77
Brenz77

EA SPORTS made the best hockey game in 2006 and if you don't say that you have a bad taste in games all they gotta do is make better goalies

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

eldanon Thank God! I'm thrilled that EA won't be able to **** up my favorite sport by purchasing an exclusive license which is their usual response to good competition. No monopoly!!! ---------------------------------------------------- I could not have said that better. Let me add that I will never buy a crappie Madden NFL game or baseball game just because I don

NHL06
NHL06

They both want to be the best, but who will be the best next years, EA or 2K???

rbarahona
rbarahona

Nice move by the nhl and the nhlpa; that way players can decide which "official" game they want to get.

donscrillinger
donscrillinger

Now see thats what im talking about ,now all we need is for the NFL do see the light

j_j_j_2
j_j_j_2

I wanna see NHL hitz back, hitz pro was the funnest nhl game ever, not the most realistic but it was the funnest. i do like EA's nhl franchise, they've always done a good job and i dont even bother with 2K's franchise

ncc74656
ncc74656

lets hope nhl 07 for has better multiplayer modes than gretzky's game for psp

nfkevin34
nfkevin34

I only played 2k6 for the crease control. It could be better, wrap arounds impossible to stop almost, and the other team can score just by pushing the puck in from the BACK of the net, that's so frustrating. Sometimes the goalie doesnt even move when you move the target to make the save. Hopefully it will be improved in 2k7. As usual though I'll buy NHL 07 and NHL 2k7. Hope they're awesome!

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

At least the NHL is smart, realized that EA can't make games as good as 2K can (i think they actually played 2k6, 06 unlike MLB and NFL) and this is there way of saying you suck at making hockey(sports) games EA but keep trying you might accidentally make something good.

Merl57
Merl57

Yayayayayyayayayyayayay WOOO HOOO way to go NHL way to stick it to EA. I guess EA's world domination can't be at 100% like their ownership of NFL games which pretty much is the exact definition of a monopoly. Seriously each Madden game is pretty much the same and they get old, at least the NHL can have fresh games come on lets have som MUTANT LEAGUE HOCKEY again, that was the best game for Sega Genisis

thekey
thekey

Took the words right out of my mouth, squarephreak Take that EA!!!! The NFL was and is stupid, especially if they renew there exclusive deal.

DsPsofLife
DsPsofLife

I never liked the NFL 2k series, but I think it would of been better for the NFL to allow EA and 2k make the NFL games. I have played ever NHL game since 93 and the only one I hated was 2004. I think the biggest thing EA needs to work on is making the draft better and making progression better like it is in Madden.

marcusray316
marcusray316

Finally, someone stood up to that MONOPOLY (EA). Now, if we could only get NFL 2K7???????? PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Madden is ok but the real gem is the 2K series. TRUST ME.

solsub
solsub

I hate Carolina so... go Edmonton!

gormechi
gormechi

That's good news. The exclusivity between EA and 2k has only breed lame sport games, when is the last time a sports title has scored a 90 or above. Sport games in general have sucked over the last couple of years, but at least no exclusivity for hockey or basketball for now.

nintendorocks
nintendorocks

Can't we all just get along! While 2K and EA are fighting over licenses, the gamers are losing games! But it's good to see they can share the NHL license.

DreTire
DreTire

...since when did EA made an exclusive deal with the MLB? I thought they just made the exclusive deal w/ only NFL.

jonnyjd
jonnyjd

Thank god EA won't have an exclusive.

espme
espme

This is the way it should be for FOOTBALL & BASEBALL TOO!I'm a 2K guy,so now my football season is ruined.The EA fans also lost MVP baseball with these exclusive deals.Please,it's time for the EA fans to wake up and complain to their company that SPORTS are about competition.Indeed,so is the videogame industry.EA will ruin the industry with their exclusive deals,MARK MY WORDS.There is more than enough room for the top 3 or 4 companies in the major sports.IMAGINE a league with only one team or a boxing match with only 1 fighter.

buzzguy
buzzguy

"Good to see that the NHL has some brains, 2K makes the worst hockey games ever, except for Gretzky NHL on psp. Either way, I'd rather play the NHL 94 addon in NHL 2006, than play any 2K sports game." Sigh...both 2K and EA make good hockey games IMO. HOWEVER, Gretzky hockey is made my Sony. Get your facts straight before acting like a fanboy!

portuguy7
portuguy7

Yikes no releases for Wii hockey games? I'm a little scared here.

TimSpot
TimSpot

mattmarr: i CHECKED the piece, and it didn't appear to be his GOAL to write a bunch of puns. The clich

Polybren
Polybren

mattmarr: five, apparently.

FuriousFragnito
FuriousFragnito

Thank God! I was worried that EA would stop making NHL games...2K Sports just doesn't cut it for me. The EA games are way better.

blackIceJoe
blackIceJoe

I hate exclusive games they do not work as hard to make the games better the next season.I so am happy to see 2K and EA be able to make sports games.I can't wait to play hockey on the PS3 and PSP. If EA and 2K where good sports they would allow both company's to make Baseball and football games.Football has gotten dull and Baseball is not that fun but if both where allowed to make the games we would see better sports game's but its sad we will not see better sports games.

mattmarr
mattmarr

Terribly written piece of "journalism". How many cliches and pun can you throw into one piece of news? Go Oilers.

eldanon
eldanon

To all that like EA's NHL series: I used to be with you... right until 2003 when 2k put out NHL 2k3. Ever since then, the 2k games are FAR more realistic and far superior in many other ways to EA games. EA is far too arcade but if that's what you're into, that's yer pick. I don't mind EA making their game as long as they don't try to block people that make BETTER hockey games from making them.

jcloverboy
jcloverboy

The NFL exclusive deal is by far the worst of all. I can manage the baseball one - but come August I love options in my football gaming.

jgon_9
jgon_9

Good to see that the NHL has some brains, 2K makes the worst hockey games ever, except for Gretzky NHL on psp. Either way, I'd rather play the NHL 94 addon in NHL 2006, than play any 2K sports game.

hockeyruler12
hockeyruler12

good, there will be competition for the next coming years!

quietcool72
quietcool72

Aw, how cute- all the 2K love over at Gamespot. Pity that they can screw up baseball like none other. And buy an exclusive license for PC baseball... ..yet not make a PC Baseball game. So lets not villify EA too much. I know this is gamespot and all, but come on.

spon000
spon000

Reading the above comments on how some people like EA hockey and others like 2K hockey just shows how competition is good for the sports gaming industry. It's too bad football lacks the competitive incentive that hockey now boasts. And thanks to the NHL for not selling out!

mack10
mack10

All I can say is... GO OILERS GO!! :D

ryohazuki1987
ryohazuki1987

"Anyone who prefers the EA hockey games to 2K Sports is not interested in realistic hockey gameplay. They like goofy, over-the-top arcade hockey. More power to them, but as a die-hard hockey fan and a mediocre real life hockey player, 2K Sports is the only choice. That being said, 2K needs to stop resting on their success thus far and start fixing the serious problems with 2K6: network code, network code, that shrug-goal money shot, and network code. It's 2006, time to make a hockey game that holds up to rigorous online play. No more dropped connections and lag - this ain't 32 x 32 Halo gaming - it's 5v5 hockey." Quoted for truth.

MTGDallas
MTGDallas

Big Fan of the sport and big fan of the 2K Sports version, but I am still glad they both can make the game, competition always leads to better games for all.

Canuck3000
Canuck3000

Thank god. The 2k games are way better

MusashiFilms
MusashiFilms

Anyone who prefers the EA hockey games to 2K Sports is not interested in realistic hockey gameplay. They like goofy, over-the-top arcade hockey. More power to them, but as a die-hard hockey fan and a mediocre real life hockey player, 2K Sports is the only choice. That being said, 2K needs to stop resting on their success thus far and start fixing the serious problems with 2K6: network code, network code, that shrug-goal money shot, and network code. It's 2006, time to make a hockey game that holds up to rigorous online play. No more dropped connections and lag - this ain't 32 x 32 Halo gaming - it's 5v5 hockey.

Paul_TheGreat
Paul_TheGreat

I wish NFL and MLB were more like NHL and NBA.

bart3215
bart3215

I never really liked the 2k series, but this should make the prices for the games cheaper to compete with each other.

Smoke2Much
Smoke2Much

I've been a big fan of EA's NHL series since the beging and i'm glad that they will continue to put out a great product every year ! WHAT !! no NHL 07 on PS3 what the heck is that about ?

pundog
pundog

I wasn't a huge fan of 2K6, after years of playing EA games its a steep learning curve. They should include a "I played an EA game, teach me how to play a real hockey game!" mode in 2K7 for those of us who have only been playing EA, then I would have bought it for 360. However, NHL 07 is apparently supposed to be focusing on "authenticity", or at least thats what I heard, so hopefully there will be some really good competition this year

japam
japam

^^^^ stay in school, kiddo

newuser84
newuser84

2K hockey games are the worst and eveything sucks; the gaphics, gameplay, sounds. So that sums it up it blows chunks, but the only I liked was the crease control. EA sports makes the best hockey games period.