Nostalgia: The EHM 2004 press release
Thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine we have been able to recover the original press release dated 23 June 2004 announcing the EHM 2004. For fear of losing it forever, here it is in all of its glory:
Sports Interactive swaps the football pitch for the ice rink for its first non-football release, NHL™ Eastside Hockey Manager
Sports Interactive, the creator of the Championship Manager series, is putting its immediate future on ice, with the announcement that NHL™ Eastside Hockey Manager (NHL™:EHM) will be available to the public for the first time from Friday, July 2nd in Europe, with releases to follow in Czech Republic in August, and the US in September. The PC version of the game will also be available as a digital download from the 2nd July, with more details to follow in the coming weeks.
NHL™:EHM, a comprehensive and absorbing simulation of professional ice hockey management, has been in development at Sports Interactive’s Islington offices since July 2002. The game has been crafted by a team of hockey fans led by Risto ‘Riz’ Remes, the man behind the original Eastside Hockey Manager (first released as a ‘freeware’ download in 2000). The NHL™:EHM team has combined its own extensive knowledge and experience of hockey with SI’s market-leading expertise in sports management simulation to create an ultra-realistic game that will appeal to hockey fans across the world.
“We are exceptionally proud of NHL™ Eastside Hockey Manager,” says Miles Jacobson, Managing Director of Sports Interactive. “It’s a remarkably detailed and exceptionally playable game which we’re confident is going to become a ‘must have’ title for hockey fans and management gamers the world over. We are also excited because this is our first non-football title and will therefore open doors for us in a number of new territories around the world.”
Officially endorsed by two of hockey’s most influential bodies, the North American-based National Hockey League™ (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association™ (NHLPA™), NHL™:EHM features a total of 18 playable leagues from 12 countries, including multiple leagues from North America, Finland, the UK and Sweden and individual leagues in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Norway and Slovakia.
The game allows its users to take complete control of any one of 250 playable teams from across the globe. Managers build and shape their roster by trading players, signing free-agents and drafting promising youngsters, while coaching their way to success by setting practice schedules, selecting tactics, re-negotiating contracts and scouting for players from all over the world.
The detailed in-game engine allows managers to follow the games via text commentary, while the post-match analysis provides a wide range of statistics and 2D snapshots of the action, allowing managers to analyse and improve their team’s performance.
From today, players will be able to experience NHL™:EHM for the first time, as a fully-functional, half-season demo of the game has been made available for digital download from www.sigames.com and the new NHL™:EHM website ( www.sega-europe.com/nhlehm), which features a wealth of information on the game and a first glimpse at the game’s packaging, which shows the direction that artwork will be taking for all future titles that come from the Sports Interactive and SEGA partnership.
- All of the NHL™ teams and players including most player photos – managers can choose their favourite franchise and guide it to Stanley Cup™ glory.
- The complete world of hockey, featuring 18 playable leagues from across the world, incorporating more than 250 playable teams with a database of 15,000 players, coaches and staff to choose from.
- A detailed transfer system that allows users to buy, trade and select the world’s top players.
- A realistic in-game engine that simulates a hockey match, complete with live commentary, allowing managers to view and analyse player ratings and statistics, a period-by-period recap and, of course, all-important match statistics including shots and goals.
- Complex player personalities, which combine with true-to-life physical and mental attributes to determine how every player feels and plays throughout each match.
- Just like real-life professional hockey, NHL™:EHM uses two separate methods to allow players to move between teams: in North America, players are usually ‘traded’, while European leagues use a ‘transfer’ system similar to that used in football.
- NHL™:EHM exposes its managers to the complexities of the draft system, where (in its simplest form) newcomers to the league are selected by each team in reverse order to its league standing. This task is made a little easier by the inclusion of the International Scouting Service (ISS) which ranks players at three points during each season.
- Managers are kept up-to-date with the latest happenings in all leagues (including trades, transfers, contract offers etc.) and are expected to respond to many of these reports.
- Performances can be improved through careful use of NHL™:EHM’s practice regimes, which can be individually tailored to suit the needs of individual players and entire teams.
- Managers are responsible for settings team and individual tactics before the beginning of each match – and can then adapt these tactics through each game, if required.
NHL™ Eastside Hockey Manager will be published in Europe by SEGA for Windows and Macintosh computers (dual-format disc) on July 2nd 2004. The game will also be available as a digital download (for PC only) to customers from the US and Canada from that date, with full releases scheduled for those territories in September. A special version for the Czech Republic will be available in August.