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Eastside is back


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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.

Eastside Hockey Manager: Early Access will be available from 6:00pm (GMT) today (26th March 2015) through Steam Early Access: http://store.steampowered.com/app/301120/

Eastside Hockey Manager: Early Access – Key Features

- Contemporary League Structures

EHM: EA includes 11 playable leagues (with more planned to be added during early access), each one featuring the up-to-date structure and rules from the current season.

- Dynamic 2D Game Engine

Follow the action through the top-down game engine, which incorporates state-of-the-art physics modelling (including realistic deflections and shot-blocking) and convincing player AI. There’s even a zoom mode for those who want to get closer to the action.

- Lifelike Trade Negotiations

Managers can gauge interest to trade proposals from their opposite numbers as well as getting feedback from their own assistant. Each team has their own needs and some are ready to offload prospects for that key veteran that makes them a true contender whilst others can be looking to move high-wage veterans in order to rebuild through the draft.

- Intuitive User Interface

The centralized navigation bar makes management easier and more intuitive with all key management controls incorporated into the main menu bar.

- Improved Player Progression

Players develop and age naturally, while the role-based attribute modelling makes players more realistic and more varied.

- International Management

EHM EA: includes 13 international tournaments for senior and U20 national teams, with tournaments hosted in a variety of nations and cities.

- Database Import

The database format allows the importing of user-generated up-to-date rosters and even historical starting databases (created for earlier versions of EHM).

- And Much, Much More…

The intuitive tutorial system takes users through the early stages, there’s an option to hide all visible attributes in the game for added challenge, a nation overview screen to view all the top leagues, clubs and players for each country, player/non-player profiles, option to start the game with a fantasy draft, up-to-date ‘all-star’ game formats with skills competitions and many, many other features.

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As I tweeted, being a Leaf fan, the only hockey-related news I've been more excited about this season* was the David Clarkson trade. I still dip into EHM07 from time-to-time (to the point where I actually set-up a Windows partition on my Mac to allow myself to play it, as I could never get the Mac version to work) even though I know sooner or later, it gets to a point where it crashes when I try and continue. Even if this new version never gets real life data, just having a good hockey management game (sorry, FHM) has me super excited to get home tonight and give it a whirl.

* - you know, until the Leafs win the draft lottery, then it'll have to make do with the third most excited I've been this hockey season ;)

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Really got into hockey in the late 90s and then fully lapsed until last year when I started going to watch my local team (the mighty Streatham Redskins) and had been reading up about this game for a good while, thinking it was a shame I'd missed out. And now, it's a shame no longer.

Hooray, etc.

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Really got into hockey in the late 90s and then fully lapsed until last year when I started going to watch my local team (the mighty Streatham Redskins) and had been reading up about this game for a good while, thinking it was a shame I'd missed out. And now, it's a shame no longer.

Hooray, etc.

This must be the first time that back to back posts in the SI boards have been from Streatham fans!

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My goodness, this has completely made my day.

Yes, I'm happy to be able to play Eastside again but as part of the original research team, I'm just SO delighted for Riz. This is your "baby" and getting to do what you love once again has to be incredibly satisfying.

Well played, SI. Best of luck with the launch and it will be an instant buy for me.

- Matt Bosela

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Author: archibalduk of EHM The Blue Line (Community Forums)

Review of Eastside Hockey Manager: Early Access - "Well worth the eight year wait"

More than eight years after the Eastside Hockey Manager series was put on indefinite hold, the undisputed king of ice hockey management is back. A lot has changed since EHM 2007 was released in September 2006; not least the rise of the likes of Steam and social media. These platforms make niche games cheaper to launch and easier to market. Indeed, Eastside Hockey Manager: Early Access (or EHM:EA for short) is being released exclusively on Steam and is likely to be heavily marketed using platforms such as Twitter and hockey forums such as The Blue Line and HFBoards. Against this background maybe, just maybe, the game will become a more viable project than it was before.

This new iteration is being released as an Early Access game. The game will be continuously developed over the coming months with regular updates being pushed to users via Steam. To call it a beta version would be grossly unfair and inaccurate. The game is highly polished. It’s simply that the game will be developed whilst we play. The thinking behind this approach is to test the waters. If the game generates enough sales then it will return as an annual release. If not, then it won’t.

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See full review here -> http://gmgames.org/eastside-hockey-manager-ehm-version-1/review/

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It's good to be back !

RIZ YOU SNEAKY DOG! All them times you promised us EHM wasn't dead! I could cry I'm so happy that is is back! THANK YOU SI! (SORRY FOR ALL THE BAD NAMES I CALLED YOU IN THE PAST!

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Eastsiiiddeeeee

It must be about 8 years since I've seen somebody post that!!

I'm so excited to see the game back again! I never thought this day would come. It feels just like the good old days again. :)

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It must be about 8 years since I've seen somebody post that!!

I'm so excited to see the game back again! I never thought this day would come. It feels just like the good old days again. :)

6pm feels like 8 years away again!! Many thanks to you Archi without TBL EHM might have never come back!

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