It's a topic we talk about every year - which player will be on the cover of EA's latest NHL video game? This year EA is doing things a bit differently and is allowing the fans to select which hockey player will be on the cover of their newest game NHL 13.
Set up in an online format, NHL fans can go vote for which player they want to represent each team from around the league. Once the field is narrowed down to the 16 players that have earned the most votes, the system will then follow a March Madness style bracket until one ultimate winner is chosen to grace the cover of NHL 13. Fans can head on over to NHL.com/CoverVote to start voting.
Props to the NHL and Electronic Arts for embracing the power of the Internet and social media. It's always nice to see a company let their fans be apart of one of their decisions, especially one as visual as the game's cover.
If you aren't a fan of video games or simply haven't paid attention to the NHL line of games in recent years, these are the players that have been featured on the cover. Note that the player listed is the one that was on the cover of the worldwide release. In some cases and years different covers were released to different regions - e.g., for NHL 12 Jonas Hiller was on the cover in Switzerland while Steven Stamkos was on the cover around the rest of the world.
NHL 12 - Steven Stamkos - Tampa Bay
NHL 11 - Jonathan Toews - Chicago
NHL 10 - Patrick Kane - Chicago
NHL 09 - Dion Phaneuf - Calgary
NHL 08 - Eric Staal - Carolina
NHL 07 - Alex Ovechkin - Washington
NHL 06 - Vincent Lecavalier - Tampa Bay
As you can see above, covers in previous years have featured two Blackhawks (in back-to-back years) and two players from Tampa Bay. Considering the NHL is a league with 30 teams, it seems pretty silly that the same team should be featured in a seven year window, especially in back-to-back years.
The online voting adds a fun, interactice element to the process of selecting the cover. In the past, it was fun to see who was on the cover and complain or praise the decision. Now there really won't be anyone to blame as we all have a fair chance at placing our vote to get our own team represented.
Unfortunately, online voting breeds some problems of its own. Voting is unlimited. If you want to vote for Shane Doan, one of the two players selected to represent Phoenix, 500 times a day until voting closes nothing is going to stop you - just please, go outside and get some sun. Thankfully, EA and the NHL came up with an original pool of 60 players to insure that they we don't all see a video game cover featuring Sean Avery - or worse.
What are you waiting for? Head over to NHL.com/CoverVote and start supporting your team as soon as possible.
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