The NHL 16 Cover Might Be The Worst In Recent Sports Games


Last night, just 9 days after the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, EA Sports kept the party going in Chicago. Never remiss to break new barriers with their hockey simulation franchise, the cover of this year’s game not only features teammates for the first time, but also includes the game’s ultimate trophy. As revealed in a press release, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Cane will both share the cover of NHL 16, with one arm in embrace and one arm holding up Lord Stanley’s Cup each.

As you can see from the featured image above, this cover looks absolutely awful. I understand the realities behind the creators of NHL 16 getting approvals from various levels of the NHL and EA Sports, commissioning the rights of the photographers (who clearly snapped a picture of two random people and slapped Toews and Kane’s faces on top), having the right executives sign off and posting for public consumption within the span of roughly 9 days. But the goofy smile of Kane and the odd roar from Toews, combined with the misplaced location of the shot? Considering the game will be released in roughly 10-12 weeks from now, everything about the cover seems like a rush job.

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It’s the main reason why I think it’s the worst cover to a sports game in recent memory (Kinect cash-ins aside). It’s nice to cash in on the popularity of the current Stanley Cup winners in the Chicago Blackhawks, but perhaps it would be best if the NHL 16 cover didn’t look like a last-minute decision? It’s bad enough that the series will be implementing legacy editions for last-gen titles; maybe it’s best to give off a vibe that doesn’t represent the moment when EA and EA Sports stopped caring about what may be their highest-quality sports series.

NHL 16 will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One on September 15, with the Legacy Edition on PS3 and Xbox 360 to follow.

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