Preview of EA Sports’ new video game starring Seattle Kraken, Climate Pledge Arena

KING 5 has gained exclusive access to the game, which will feature a Seattle NHL franchise and the Climate Pledge Arena for the first time ever.

VANCOUVER, BC – The Seattle Kraken has been playing at Climate Pledge Arena for months now, at least at EA Sports studios.

This is where the developers have released the Kraken several times a day, for weeks on end, as they finalize the gameplay for NHL 22.

KING 5 has gained exclusive access to the game, which will feature a Seattle NHL franchise and the Climate Pledge Arena for the first time ever.

“You envision a performance pretty close to a 1 to 1,” said associate producer Andy Agostini, as we settled into a few well-worn sofas to play the Kraken and Tampa Bay Lightning. He has the enviable job of playing football for a living, working on production issues for the NHL unit, which is based in British Columbia.

This was made more difficult this year, due to the pandemic and the fact that research and development teams could not visit the Seattle arena site as they normally would. A team of around 250 programmers and designers also had to work remotely to complete it.

“A stadium of this quality would take between four and six months, with artists working there,” Agostini said between two virtual skates. “The Frostbite engine (which is new this year) really pushes the boundaries in terms of art and what we can do.”

He said the architects of the Oak View Group have provided all of their original designs and files to enable them to make it happen.

“They put us in touch with the current architect, Populous, who is the company that helped design the stadium,” he said. “They provided us with the prints and CAD files to use, with COVID and us not being able to travel, it was difficult for us to get anywhere.”

What you are seeing is a beautiful three-dimensional arena on a 4K screen. The glass panels of the Climate Pledge Arena are there, with a view of the people hanging out in the South Atrium bar. The coding also allows Seattle-specific posters and fans, all wearing a host of Kraken-branded gear, and in real time to “play” on the ice.

Below is an unfinished version of the game, provided to KING 5 by EA Sports:

“There are ordinary people, wearing ties too,” Agostini noted, as he walked through the virtual building.

He also shared that the NHL and the Kraken have revealed that the secondary “Anchor” logo will be incorporated into the red line and can be seen in-game. The two triangular scoreboards can also be seen and will reflect a replay of a key goal or game from different angles, Agostini said.

The Burnaby campus is full of football, basketball, soccer, and motion capture studios. Agostini said several hockey players were brought in to provide movement for the game from time to time. The current Kraken squad are well represented, with defender Mark Giordano having the highest odds.

Players will also be able to create a player, as Agostini showed how he can even put a Seattle reporter in the middle of the action. This guy, wearing the number 5, was able to provide assistance that drove the virtual crowd at the Climate Pledge Arena crazy.

EA Sports will begin selling NHL 22 on October 15, 2021 on Xbox Series S | X, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.


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