SEGA® Europe Limited and Sports Interactive™ are pleased to announce that Eastside Hockey Manager (EHM) has today emerged from Steam’s Early Access programme and is available as a full release through the popular games download service.
Originally a ‘boxed’ retail game from 2004 to 2007, EHM made a comeback in March of this year through Steam’s ‘Early Access’ programme. The user feedback generated by EHM’s availability through Early Access has enabled the Sports Interactive team to improve and refine the game to the point where it is now ready to move to its full launch.
“With Eastside having been in hiatus for such a long time, Steam’s Early Access programme provided exactly the platform we needed to get it up and running again and test it out on a global audience,” says Miles Jacobson, Studio Director for Sports Interactive. “Now, with nine months of invaluable user feedback and extra development time under our belts we’re ready to launch a game that we’re really very proud of. We hope the world’s hockey fans like it as much as we do.”
EHM offers fans the most realistic, in-depth and immersive simulation of hockey management available, giving players the chance to manage either club or country in any of the world’s top hockey-playing nations.
EHM allows you to take full control of your roster – you decide who to sign, who to trade and who to draft. You assemble the perfect coaching team and then, with everything in place, you can choose to either employ a head coach to guide your team from behind the bench, or take control of the coaching duties yourself. Whichever you choose, you can follow the action ‘live’ or watch highlights after the game through the realistic ‘top down’ 2D game engine.
To mark its move from Early Access to full availability, EHM now offers a number of new and updated features, including: a greater number of playable domestic leagues and cup competitions; Steam Workshop integration; additional screen resolutions and a multiplayer option which allows up to 30 players to compete against one another.
Other improvements, inspired directly by user feedback from those who played the Early Access version, include: a new league overview panel with a recap of individual stats leaders and league standings; streaks and shootout records included in league tables; a league play-off tree view; the option to add key non-playing staff to playable teams at game start; the option to choose an early start date and many more.
Developed by Sports Interactive and Published by SEGA, Eastside Hockey Manager is available from today for Windows computers from the SEGA Store, Steam and other digital retailers.
Eastside Hockey Manager – Key Features
Follow the action in either your own games or those of your rivals through the advanced ‘top-down’, 2D game engine, which incorporates state-of-the-art physics modelling (including realistic deflections and shot-blocking) and convincing player AI. There’s even a zoom mode for those who want to get closer to the action.
- Realistic Contemporary Game World
A detailed game world where players can manage and coach in more than 30 playable domestic leagues and cup competitions from across the globe, each of which features up-to-date rules and league structures.
Up to 30 players can compete head to head in in the same online game world.
- Steam Workshop Integration
EHM includes support for the incorporation of user-generated content (such as custom databases and graphics) through the easy-to-use Steam Workshop system.
- Complete Roster Management
Full control over the building and management of your roster, including everything from offering contracts to scouting, drafting promising players and trading with other teams.
- Complete Personnel Management
Full control over non-playing personnel, including the ability to sign coaches, scouts and physios.
Coaches can get the best out of their roster by creating and managing detailed tactics that can be configured to an entire team, an individual unit or even a single player.
- Lifelike Trade Negotiations
Managers can gauge interest to trade proposals from their opposite numbers as well as getting feedback from their own assistant. Each team has their own needs and some are ready to offload prospects for that key veteran that makes them a true contender, whilst others might be looking to move high-earning veterans in order to rebuild through the draft.
The centralised navigation bar makes management easier and more intuitive with all key management controls incorporated into the main menu bar.
- Improved Player Progression
Players develop and age naturally, with new players coming through the junior systems and older players eventually retiring or moving on into non-playing careers. Furthermore, the role-based attribute modelling makes players more realistic and more varied.
EHM includes the opportunity to manage international teams (including U20s) in all of the key tournaments – and in many less high-profile competitions too.
The database format allows the importing of user-generated up-to-date rosters and even historical starting databases (created for earlier versions of EHM).
…including detailed financial modelling of player contracts, salary caps and player budgets; an intuitive tutorial system which takes users through the early stages; the option to hide all visible attributes in the game for added challenge; a nation overview screen which allows you to view all of the top leagues, clubs and players for each country; player/non-player profiles; an option to start the game with a fantasy draft; all-star games with skills competitions and many, many other features.