Kesler scores NHL 2K11 cover

Vancouver Canucks forward tapped for this year's Wii-exclusive installment in Take-Two's long-skating hockey franchise.

Considering the popularity of hockey in Canada, it's a wonder there aren't more Canucks on the covers of the sport's digital adaptations. Take-Two Interactive is looking to change that, as the publisher today announced Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler will be the cover athlete of this year's Wii-exclusive NHL 2K11.

Kesler skates in a motion-capture session for the game.

While Kesler is a Canuck, he isn't actually a canuck. The 25-year-old star hails from Michigan and played for the United States in last month's Olympic Games. The American team exceeded expectations, losing a thrilling gold-medal game in overtime to a Canadian team they bested earlier in the tournament.

In a conference call last week, Take-Two executives said the NHL 2K series was "taking a year off," with the Wii version the only edition being developed for release this year. After years of coming in a distant second to Electronic Arts' NHL series both critically and commercially, the publisher decided to take the extra time to ensure its eventual return to the ice would be more competitive.

NHL 2K11 is being developed by Visual Concepts and is set for a fall release.

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13 comments
DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

I'm not a nucks fan but it will be nice to see Kesler on the cover. Although EA has been better I hope "taking a year off" is worth it I don't want Hockey games to turn into Madden we need some competition.

oneligas
oneligas

if it wasn't for Canada there would be no hockey any more so they should just release NHL2K every year in french so it can sell more a

force_user1975
force_user1975

2K sports needs to release new games at a $20 price point like they did in 2005 or even $30. That will stick it to the Monopoly that is E.A. Sorry company bought the rights to NFL.....ugghhhh Madden is terrible.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

at least it is a good move for 2k because they getting beaten up by ea.

Thrice8
Thrice8

congrats to kesler. he is a good player and an even better person. also, great idea by take two to take the year off, they really need to overhaul the entire game, the series was becoming an absolute whipping boy to hockey fans across north america. take two needs a new engine, a massive graphical overhaul which will hopefully lead to better looking (and less bizarre or stiff) animations, and a MASSIVE gameplay overhaul to rip the game out of arcade territory and throw it back into the simulation genre.

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

New roster and players ... same game ... same garbage engine. Wii folks bypass this or feel dumped on.

grand17
grand17

Congrats Kesler, Go Canucks Go

-Fromage-
-Fromage-

Taking a year off? Sounds like a good idea to me. But wont that mean this new Wii version will just be a total rehash of last year's version?

CharlesSteak
CharlesSteak

2k10 was an awesome game for the Wii. If they can build on top of the bar they set for that (specifically, a better fighting system, scrums after the whistle, and for the love of pete, I can't wrap my head around the MotionPlus controls), then 2k11 should be worth the upgrade.

bgres077
bgres077

Nice, the game should be good since they are focusing solely on the wii verssion