Sports Interactive used to make more games than just the super popular Football Manager (that is one of the top 5 most played Steam games), they used to make Eastside Hockey Manager but that was discounted back in 2007 due to the games not being able to pay for its development costs, mostly due to the high piracy rates. But much has changed since 2007, more people actually purchase games thanks to the rising popularity of Steam and Sports Interactive is ready to give it another shot.
“We need to prove that there is enough demand to justify resurrecting the series fully. Whilst this version has ‘fake’ data, we want to show that there is a demand for a fully licensed version of the game. That won’t come with this release but, if it’s successful, it means we can go to the leagues around the world and get licenses for future, annualised, versions (in much the same way that we do with FM).”
Eastside Hockey Manager is now available to download in its ‘early access edition’ form for a mere $14.99, but only has support for English. If you are a Hockey fan and want to see this series resurrected then head over to Steam and support it with your wallet. So far ratings on Steam have been positive.
Who knows, maybe SEGA can create in-house games in early access and take fan feedback to shape the series and see if there is an audience for some of their franchises.