Riding off of the success of NHL 08 and its Community Event, we knew that at EA SPORTS we needed to raise the bar for the NHL 09 Community Event. Last year, the community leaders were brought in to play NHL 08 in its near final stages to give a ton of feedback on the game and direction of the series. We combined that with an on - ice drill session with our NHL Producers who have real-life hockey experience. The goal was to show them that you can have fun with NHL 08, but if you really know hockey, you'll have that much more of an advantage.
On April 1st - 4th , we invited 12 community leaders to beautiful British Columbia , Canada for our EA SPORTS NHL 09 Community Event. Below is what took place during that time period.
The community leaders had no idea what they were in for, but we boarded a bus from their hotel and made the trip to our fantastic EA Canada studio in Burnaby. The day included presentations from Dave McCarthy who is the President of Entertainment Marketing for the NHL, and NHL 09 Line Producer David Littman.
David Littman went over the early concepts and strategies for NHL 09 and really hit hard on the importance of community feedback into the development process of the game. The community leaders did just that, letting David and producer Sean Ramjagsingh know everything they thought about the direction NHL 09 was headed in.
The day ended with an early gameplay session where NHL 09 producers sat with community leaders in separate rooms jotting down notes based off of the feedback the community leaders gave.
The community leaders really got their voices heard on Day 1, but the second day was packed full of hockey fun! We took everyone to GM Place for the entire day. GM Place is home to the Vancouver Canucks and they were a fantastic host! It was a gameday for the Canucks, so we got to see the morning skates of the Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers. We also took a special tour of GM Place that included a locker room visit. Note, on gameday, NO ONE gets into the locker room....except us!
The day ended with tickets for all of us to the night's game. This was a big game because if the Canucks won, they'd be in the running for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Unfortunately though, they lost.
The NHL 09 Community Event was a fantastic one indeed that really made the Community Leaders feel like they were a part of the NHL 09 process and more importantly a significant piece in the NHL community!