Sports Interactive puts puck sim on ice

Developer benches Eastside Hockey Manger for foreseeable future, attributes decision to effects of piracy.

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Sports Interactive's hockey sim series Eastside Hockey Manager is no more. In a post on the company's official forums yesterday, managing director Miles Jacobson announced that the newly released patch for Eastside Hockey Manager 2007 would be the final update for the game and the end of the series.

Jacobson attributed the demise of the series to gamers pirating the latest installment, saying that despite decent preorder numbers and great reviews, sales were significantly less than expected.

"We scratched our heads trying to work out what had gone wrong," Jacobson wrote. "And then someone pointed out that the game was being pirated and was available as a torrent from lots of different pirating sites. Then [we] sat there and watched as the claimed amount of downloads on those sites went up and up, as sales stayed static."

Jacobson said the game failed to recoup its development costs, much less the licensing fees for the game's 20 playable real-world leagues. He left the door open for the series to return at some point but said it was done "for the foreseeable future."

Most of the people who worked on Eastside Hockey Manager have been moved over to work on the company's Football Manager franchise, while one of them is working on a new project for the company, expected to be announced later this year. In his posting, Jacobson thanked the Eastside fans who supported the games and chastised those who didn't.

"[To] those of you who pirated it, this is what happens when you steal," Jacobson wrote. "There are no excuses you can give that are valid for stealing--you have lead to the demise of a game that you enjoyed."

Discussion

34 comments
mismajor99
mismajor99

WTH, they need to get this game back up and running !!! On PC, these games are great, especially this one. Maybe the Developer can integrate the new game into the browser and have a sign on screen, that would get rid of all piracy to begin with, and offer up to the minute patches, photos and interactive media. I honestly don't think piracy was Eastsides problem, how can they expect to sell copies when there is ZERO marketing from Sega? The only reason I heard of this was by accident, doing a search for NHL07 back before las year. I'm a huge hockey fan too. Maybe they don't market in the states? Whatever the case, the Developers need to come up with a way to play the game via Browser with authentication, problem solved!!

Saranis
Saranis

Just because you cant find a pirated version doesn't mean they arent out there. I myself was able to fine one very quickly just to check out the validity of their claim that its cancelation was due to the number of pirated copies. However I agree with wstsd1, A lot of small Developers are pirated and still make the games. SI just wanted to dump the franchise and reassign the 4 (yes only 4 people made NHL EHM 2007) developers to work on the Football Manager 2008. If you want continued support of the latest game check out EHMTheBlueLine.com Hopefully in a couple years SI will get their act together and reapply for the licenses they need to continue the game.

Jacksonguit2002
Jacksonguit2002

WHAT A JOKE! Seriously! How can they possibly blame this on pirating when there isn't a single pirated version out ther!!!??? YES, there are torrents out there for this game, BUT....every single one of them are NOT cracked & are nothing more than the same Demo version of which you can also get from the games official website. So don't tell me that the end of this game is due to piracy. That's nothing more than a cheap shot at potential pirates that DIDN"T pirate this game. There are no cracks for this game, no keygens, & certainly no versions to pirate that are the full working copy. I am sickened by this press release. Lame I tell you! and before anyone out there even tries to tell me other wise, please do your homework. I dare anyone out there to try and find a torrent for this game that actually gets you a full working copy. I guarantee that you'll only come up with a demo version, and that's the same version they've been giving away for free any how.................

wstsd1
wstsd1

I can't believe so many posters are buying this crap. I can't possibly list all of the commercially successful games released by small devs that were pirated. Now I know this is surprising, believe me, I was shocked to find that the nonstop action of a text driven Hockey Management Simulation did not a appeal to a wider audience. I hear that there was no cd release of the most current version. What? Are you serious? Why would you not put this on a cd? The reason is obviously to squeeze as much profit from the game as possible, which inevitably turned out to be quite ironic. Piracy has been around forever, and will be around forever; just as companies that have made bad marketing decisions to fatten that profit margin any way they can will be around forever. Just a hint: The next time you blitz us with the mainstream appeal of Hockey Management, let's splurge a little on producing cds, maybe retail space. I hear it was a great game, but until this I'd never heard of it.

Buckswana
Buckswana

This really sux. I have played this game for 2 years now, purchasing both times. I got started on the recommendation of a friend to whom I had showed Football Mgr., not even knowing it existed at the time (we're both huge hockey fans). Amazingly detailed, with everything you could want in a hockey mgmt game. Another great game bites the dust thanks to scumbags.

craighannan
craighannan

This is just false accounting, how many of the pirates would actually have bought them game if it wasn't available as a pirate. I'd hazzard a guess at not too many. Game companies need to realise that sometimes concepts just run their course and then end.

ryanstoy91
ryanstoy91

It sucks that these piraters have to ruin it for everyone.

Keb101
Keb101

I agree with most of the posts here.. It's sad to see a great series such as NHL EHM gone this way. If people really wants a game, they should buy it.. not steal it. Plus, the game was entirely downloadable on their website.. not even have to get your butt to the store.. So no excuses for the piraters... Stealing is stealing.. Thanks to those who did buy it, like myself.. you have shown some great judgement.

faytal-ehtee
faytal-ehtee

to the guy who said about stealing a car is =/= to piracy... chances of getting caught eventually stealing a car (its a certainty) chances of being caught being a "pirate"...slim to none... they are in different leagues..

75thDeadMan
75thDeadMan

thats what we get for bastards that steal. thats such a shame. maybe they'll get the series back and move to steam which is a whole lot safer and more difficult to pirate.

d_agra
d_agra

I hope that Football manager is not next!! Well i dought it since football is a world wide sport and hockey not as much!!

reeconstead
reeconstead

OH NO! That is a real shame to anyone who plays the game. I have played Champ (the football equivalent) as it used to be known since 93 and have always bought a copy of the game. But last years edition appeared as a torrent 24hours before the games release! OH it was quite a day! I was playing in a matter of hours! I did buy the game though! Silly boy that I am! But it raises a question, is this particularly fair? The thing about Champ and its variants is that it comes as a 500mb file, which for days worth of gameplay, and I should have probably said months, you get minimal download time and maximum enjoyment. They are so simple, but yet so advanced (in terms of keeping your attention) that they are a victim of their own success. They could ensure piracy is minimalised but completely removing it is impossible. Still....at least I play one of the biggest games of all time and there will be no removal of its production! And soon you Americans will be on the bandwagon too!!! HAHAHAHA! GOOOOOO BECKHAM!!!!

datniccah187
datniccah187

Hmm, i've never even heard of the project. Has anyone?

John_of_Fire
John_of_Fire

Thats really too bad. I would have loved to have seen series get a console release.

nintendorocks
nintendorocks

Wow, this article actually really pissed me off. I hate piraters or whatever they wanna call themselves. What we should call them is criminals. A great series is now gone because you guys. Thanks a lot.

mismajor99
mismajor99

If anyone wants a great Sim, this is it. You can't beat if for the price. I would urge anyone out there looking for something to kill time, I would definitely recommend this game. This is really sad to hear, I must say, especially when a small developer struggles.

Gmacrusher
Gmacrusher

I don't like hokey games because of bad experience over the past years..of Video game play...that i have played!

cheung31
cheung31

I'm proud to say I did purchase EHM07. It is a pity that this is the way it had to end. I just want to say thanks to everyone involved in developing the EHM series, it's been a great run. Hopefully we'll see a comeback in the future. RIP :(

timwheatley79
timwheatley79

Maybe it didnt sell well just because not enough people wanted it?

mhder
mhder

$20 or $30, people will still steal if they can. It's amazing though that people still find ways of justifying stealing. I guess I should steal a car because it costs too much as well.

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

Love hockey, never played NHL: Eastside Hockey Man (hate Management) but "you have lead to the demise of a game that you enjoyed"

Mentalicca
Mentalicca

Sad day. I loved the Eastside series, but really I think the demise had in some part been caused by no CD release of the most current version

johncraven
johncraven

hmm that's quite sad. Sports Interactive is not a big company, so every penny helps. Piracy hurts them harder than others.

Doolum
Doolum

guess i'll pass.

faytal-ehtee
faytal-ehtee

wow i have never heard of other games being pirated in my life. i mean torrents can be used for games...wow /sarcasm thing is these days is that you either release your game and it gets nicked because of companies like devience and axxo who upload and crack or you incorporate starforce and just screw up all versions of the games, be accused of installing spyware etc. have people complaining about it bricking systems. its pretty much a lose/lose situation. only thing you can do is stop pirated online play by having an activation check but even then people will create private servers etc. pretty much a sucky time to release pc games imo. you can barely win

mis3ry
mis3ry

"This was supposed to be released??? " It was released, pirated, and because of people stealing it a great series is gone. Thanks alot, kids.

Auron7814
Auron7814

"Maybe reduce the price? Why should I have to pay 30 bucks for a MANAGEMENT SIM with minimal graphics? I don't mind paying that much for a game utilizing the latest 3d graphics, but not for a text intensive game such as this one. as much as I enjoyed eastside hockey, I wouldn't pay more than 20 bucks than that." They have to recoop the licensing fees somehow , duh.

FallenAngel
FallenAngel

Maybe reduce the price? Why should I have to pay 30 bucks for a MANAGEMENT SIM with minimal graphics? I don't mind paying that much for a game utilizing the latest 3d graphics, but not for a text intensive game such as this one. as much as I enjoyed eastside hockey, I wouldn't pay more than 20 bucks than that.

ReaperXxxx
ReaperXxxx

Soooooo make it harder to pirate.

Aeroxix
Aeroxix

This was supposed to be released???