This is Why NHL 19 Doesn’t Have A Story Mode

With both Madden NFL 19 and FIFA 19 bringing a combined five years of cinematic storyline game modes to the table (and NBA Live 19 doing something in the same vein with The Rise), NHL fans could be forgiven for thinking it’ll soon be their turn. It’s a sentiment that isn’t exactly in it’s first year, and the ‘From Ponds to Pros’ byline of NHL 19 certainly didn’t help disperse those thoughts.

We sat down with NHL 19 creative director William Ho, a man who’s played the likes The Journey in great detail and has had time to figure out what worked and what didn’t. In fact, he wasn’t a big fan of soccer prior to playing the mode, finding that it onboarded him into the world really well – something that future NHL titles might get a chance to do.

Here’s the official verdict from the man himself:

For NHL, we feel that it has to be the right time for us to do it really well. I’m not sure that it would have served our fans in NHL 19 to invest in something like that, but it’s something we considered every year.

As it turns out, NHL 19 wasn’t the first time William and his team have considered crafting a cinematic storyline mode, but things evidently haven’t fallen into place yet. With World Of Chel bringing so many new game modes to the table, taking the time to carve out an entire cinematic journey and have it fit to the high standards that William and his team have simply wasn’t possible this year.

Of course, that isn’t to say that things won’t fall into place in NHL 20, or another NHL game after that. Like Ho says, it’s something that the studio looks at every year. Sometime in the future, players may just be able to go from ponds to pros – but in an entirely different way.


NHL 19 will release on September 14, 2018 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

You can find John on Twitter at @Makelevi. Like, it’s just a suggestion.

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