NHL 21: Release date, platforms and everything else we know so far

Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook - Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook - Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

EA Sports NHL released a developmental update on NHL 21.

About this time every year is about when everyone starts to get their NHL pre-order in for the usual September release. However, with September less than two months away, we still had not got any official word on what is going on with NHL 21 — until EA Sports released a developmental update on the video game on July 20.

EA Sports is committed to making sure their fans are satisfied and that is why they plan on doing an October release date this year, instead of the traditional September release date. At the moment we do not have an official release date, but having a release month set is at least some progress. According to EA Sports NHL:

"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. We know some of you will be disappointed by this news, but our goal with NHL 21 is to deliver an experience that will be worth the wait."

I am hoping that with these extra two months of working on the game, it will allow for fewer bugs and a more detailed and realisticgaming experience. EA Sports NHL video games are no stranger to having a game filled with tons of bugs and glitches.

EA Sports also talked about having NHL 21 available on the next-generation consoles. In their developmental update, they explained the development process behing bringing NHL 21 to next-gen consoles.

"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. You’ll still be able to play NHL 21 on the next-gen consoles through forward compatibility but 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."

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From the statement, it sounds like they are focusing on creating a game that exceeds expectations and not focusing on creating a game solely on it being available for PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X. Their plan is to make sure the game satisfies their fans and in-turn allows it to be played on PS5 or the Xbox Series X through forward compatibility. In other words, don’t expect a specific next-gen version of NHL 21. It will be created with the Xbox One and PS4 in mind and likely made available for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 when those consoles launch. Like Madden 21, EA will probably offer some sort of Dual Entitlement program to allow for the free generation upgrade.

I think this approach is one of the best things that they can in regards to NHL 21. If you remember, NHL 15, which was the first NHL video game to be released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, was very bad. It was buffy, didn’t offer polished game modes and was overall just a step down from NHL 14. Rather than rush some shoddy game for the sake of getting it out in time, it’s good that EA is allowing for proper development.

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Perhaps the most interesting part of their developmental update was that it was stated that we will be getting out first look at NHL 21 in late August which is just one month away! I can not wait to see what EA Sports has in store for us and how the extra two months to develop will impact the smoothness of the game.