Want to know what’s been getting me all excited this week? The return of Eastside Hockey Manager no less!
Simple put, it was the ice hockey equivalent of Football Manager. Gaining a cult following during the mid-00s, Eastside Hockey Manager was sadly a victim of its time – as cracking the mass market proved increasingly difficult.
Now, 8 years on, we have Steam established as the place to get games for Windows, Mac and Linux users – giving Sports Interactive and Sega a fresh chance at bringing ice hockey’s favourite management simulator to the masses.
While Bouncy and I will be discussing it at greater length on the next Back In The Game podcast; here’s the official press release from SI Games to help fill you in on what the game is all about:
EASTSIDE HOCKEY MANAGER: EARLY ACCESS
The world’s greatest hockey management simulation makes a dramatic return
For a brief golden age between 2004 and 2007, ice hockey fans across the globe could test their management credentials from the comfort of their own homes with the Eastside Hockey Manager series. The game, developed by management simulation specialist Sports Interactive and published by SEGA, appeared in three incarnations over the course of that period and developed a small, but enthusiastic global following.
The trouble was, in those days before mass digital distribution, reaching that small, but dedicated audience proved increasingly difficult and uneconomic so, reluctantly, SEGA and SI shelved the game in January 2007.
However, throughout the intervening years EHM has been kept alive by a dedicated section of the SI crew and now, thanks to the emergence of Steam’s Early Access programme, the game that was loved by so many hockey fans is making a dramatic return.
Eastside Hockey Manager: Early Access offers fans the most realistic, in-depth and immersive simulation of hockey management available, giving them the chance to manage club or country in any one of the world’s top hockey-playing nations.
EHM: EA 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’ll follow the action ‘live’ through the ultra-realistic ‘top down’ 2D match engine.
You’ve always known that you have what it takes to lead your franchise to hockey glory, haven’t you? Now, thanks to the re-emergence of Eastside Hockey Manager you have the chance to prove it all over again.
You can purchase the Early Access Edition of the game via Steam Early Access for £9.99.
As the game is unlicensed during the Early Access phase, ‘fake’ names and competitions have been used in place of the real deal – but fear not! A group of EHM enthusiasts at The Blue Line have roster/player packs, logos and face packs that can all be imported to ‘skirt around’ the issue – you can find full details of these updates here
There will be a full breakdown of Eastside Hockey Manager Early Access coming to We Are The Lolocaust this weekend.