We got to chat with NHL commentators Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk who were recently featured in NHL 15 with their voices and for the first time ever, live footage. Their presence certainly gives NHL 15 a more authentic feel, presentation-wise and it should continue to be a mainstay feature for future titles. Below were some of the responses we got during a live interview.
BuzzFocus: My first question is, how was your experience working on this project?
Doc Emrick: Well this is the first year working together with EA Sports and NHL 15 and it has been an 18 month process leading up to the release. This is our first of hopefully many and it was a long process – we did our role, but the team at EA really put everything together.
BuzzFocus: How does it differ from some other video game projects you’ve worked on before?
Eddie Olczyk: Doc has done videogames before, I haven’t.
Doc: I did it during an earlier era in the late 90’s and it was a far different experience than this was, because technology was so different. But we never worked together on one until we started sitting down on these sessions – I think the first session that we actually had was a year ago in September and we worked 3 or 4 days in a row, something like that.
BuzzFocus: Was the experience similar to what you guys do on TV?
Doc: Oh yeah, we had to have the floor director straighten our ties and do all of that. Yeah, it was just like doing a telecast – it was just like it, because we had to do an open and then we did both goaltenders before the puck gets dropped and that’s what [EA Sports] is shooting for, they want it to be this experience that’s pretty much the very same as sitting at home and watching live players as opposed to the guys in the game.
Eddie: And our goal is that if you close your eyes and you hear us, you wouldn’t know if you were watching a real game or a video game. [EA Sports] wanted us to not only be part of the game with our voiceover, but also our likeness to be actually us – it’s not animated. Like when the game brings us in, it’s us – so we want to make sure that all of our phrases and the way that we would do a game is the same as we would do for the video game and I think that’s what makes it so unique. And to be a part of it physically with our likeness on there is something that’s great for the game.
BuzzFocus: How often do you guys play video games on your free time?
Eddie: I have 4 kids, I have 3 boys that play video games and have played forever – they play Xbox, PlayStation and they obviously play the NHL games. So I’ve played with them a couple of times with different games and I was just a punching bag.
BuzzFocus: They show no mercy?
Eddie: Yeah, I just refuse to continue being humiliated in front of my kids. But they think I’m pretty cool for this short period of time now that I’m part of a video game. As a kid I used to play Pinball, Pong and Pac-Man and you know whatever. Now if there was a horse racing game (looks to Doc), I would certainly find a way to be in on that. A Jockey, no, trainer maybe.
Doc: I don’t play video games, but back on horse racing the first game I played in the 1950’s had a little arrow that you’d spin and then you would move either Whirlaway, Seabiscuit or Gallant Fox – all of those horses that probably have great grandchildren who are still not retired. But video games, no.
BuzzFocus: Thank you, gentlemen.
Eddie: Take care.
Doc: Thank you.