Hi, I’m David Pritchett, the Presentation Producer on EA SPORTS™️ NHL® 20. This year, we’ve overhauled every aspect of our broadcast package, from the commentary to graphics to replay cameras to intros and outros.
REVAMPED COMMENTARY CREW
For NHL 20, we have a new crew that brings a new tone and energy level to our virtual booth. James Cybulski, our new play-by-play announcer is a veteran sports broadcaster on TV and radio. Ray Ferraro, formerly the third commentator in previous years, is now the main color commentator. He brings even more of the insights from two decades playing in the NHL and expressing his opinions as a broadcaster on ESPN, NBC, and TSN.
FEEL THE ENERGY
Current real-world hockey commentary can come across as a bit stuffy, especially to younger audiences who are used to hearing commentary that may sound more conversational, and less steeped in existing tradition. Our commentator crew won't adhere to the thinking that hockey broadcasts always needs to be ultra-serious. Our new commentary will be grounded in reality, and will always be seen as plausible. We want real-life broadcasts to start emulating our new, more progressive style.
We're moving to a two-man booth and we want our color commentator to be just involved in calling the action while the play is ongoing as our play-by-play commentator is. Traditional roles would see the color man hold back until a stoppage in play. This is not what we want. Instead, we'll favour back and forth interaction between both men in the booth instead of wall-to-wall commentary from just the play-by-play man.
We’ve achieved this chemistry by dramatically increasing our time in the recording booth. With Cybulski and Ferraro based just minutes away from EA Vancouver, they are able to develop their tone together weekly in the studio. In NHL 19, we could only get about 30 hours of session time with our previous commentary team. This year, we spent over ten times that in the booth to get the quantity and quality of commentary that sets a new foundation for years to come.
We encourage our commentators to always express opinions about players, teams, and hockey in general in order to provoke thought and debate. If a player isn't playing well, even if that player is you, our commentary team will let you know it.
NEW GRAPHICS PACKAGE
For NHL 20, we revamped our entire broadcast graphics package. It’s designed to be higher energy and higher impact for players and viewers alike. It boldly celebrates your players’ and your teams’ big moments.
The first thing we revisited was the scoreclock, which for years has lived in the top-left corner of the screen. We moved it to the bottom, just like the tickers you see on television. The immediate benefit is all the screen real estate up top that’s reclaimed for gameplay. Score and time are right in the middle and we built in timers for powerplays and quick stat comparisons between teams.
PLAY OF THE GAME HIGHLIGHTS
We’ve taken a page from other online games that celebrate individual achievements and show off your greatest plays and players to friends and foes alike. The result is the new Play of the Game sequence seen at the end of every EA SPORTS Hockey League and Hockey Ultimate Team game. We select a great goal, save, or hit to showcase with new ice-level camerawork, slow motion, and a unique audio treatment. It’s a terrific moment for bragging about your skills and style.
Like the Carolina Hurricanes tweeted, “Our players love it, our fans love it, nothing else matters.” It is the series of post-win celebrations that energized and grew the Canes’ fan base while getting under the skin of hockey traditionalists. NHL 20 brings a selection of the team’s most popular team cellys to reward home wins in Raleigh. But you can also unlock them in Club Rewards in EASHL, so your club can celebrate the joy of winning.
EA SPORTS NHL 20 is available worldwide on September 13. Pre-order the Ultimate Edition and play three days early.
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