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Feb 04

3 on 3 NHL Arcade Coming to PSN Tomorrow!

Matt Mahar's Avatar Posted by on Feb 04, 2009 // Lead Designer - 3 on 3 NHL Arcade

Greetings from EA Sports! I’m Matt, lead designer for 3 on 3 NHL Arcade coming to PSN for PS3 tomorrow for $9.99. As you might know, there are no options out there for consumers to play an Arcade style hockey game. There are Street versions of sports games, but Hockey has never been one of them and the NHL dev team felt that we could fill this void with a top quality product and give the users a game to enjoy. And PSN has it exclusively for the first week!

And, we want to turn people on about hockey — we truly believe it is the best sport on earth and want to show it off to people. So we built Arcade to attract people to play a hockey game when they might not usually play one. Also, it acts as a great creative outlet for our development team that has worked very hard on EA Sports NHL products.

3 on 3 NHL Arcade screenshot - VanekW

3 on 3 NHL Arcade is being developed by the same team that brought you NHL 09, winner of 10 sports game of the year awards. Arcade provides a complete package with online and offline play, as well as Power-ups, 40 NHL superstars, stat tracking, and leaderboards. As far as game modes are concerned, we have Play Now and Online Play. To give you a clear understanding of both of these let’s run through them:

  • Play Now supports 3 v 3. This is great for local play with your friends, and is a great time.
  • Online play is truly full — we have Play a Friend, Quick Ranked games that can support up to 3 v 3, and unranked games as well. Create and Custom game modes are also in the game, and allow the user to customize their online experience.

Power-ups are something brand new to EA Sports NHL games. We have a total of 8 power-ups. The way these work is to hit your opponent and a power-up will fall out of the player and onto the ice. This power-up can then be skated over by the hitting team. The power-ups then apply to the user that skated over the icon. These are hilarious and really create a game within a game. Do you get the power-up? Do you take the puck? It’s really challenging for the user to make the right decision. When playing against your friends or playing online, power-ups add a fun and challenging element to the game while keeping it competitive and authentic to hockey.

The overall feel of the game is fast with amped-up hitting and very distinct player types. For the Arcade player types, we categorized the players into three groups; Strong — big, able to withstand hits. Fast — fast on the ice and very agile, but can’t with stand the hits like a Strong. All-Around — good at everything, but not as fast and strong as the others. These player types add a layer of strategy to the game that can’t be forgotten about. Users will have to choose wisely and find the best combination of players to beat their opponent.

3 on 3 NHL Arcade screenshot - DoanW

There are so many cool things in 3 on 3 NHL Arcade, be it hitting guys out of the rink, performing a trick move from behind the net or spinning away from a hit attempt. But the addition of Powerups truly add to the game overall, adding an element of strategy to gameplay. Do you go get the double Score powerup or do I stay with the puck carrier? The decision is up to you, but you have to make the right decision or it could cause you a goal, our worse, 2!

For arcade we have two control setups: we have the Skill Stick, which is for all the veterans out there, and we have Button Controls for the first timers. We put shoot/check and pass/change player on the buttons so that anyone can pick up and play this game. In addition to shoot/check and pass/change player on the buttons, we added in Spin Move and Trick shots. I am really excited about having these in the game because they give the user two more offensive weapons while in the ice. With spin move you can get away from hits and skate into open ice. This helps to limit the number of powerups your opponent will get, and will get you into open areas to make plays. Second, are Trick Moves, in line with the new break-away contest the NHL introduced last year, we put in some moves that will give the user some creative freedom. Trick moves allow you to flip the puck up and bat it out the air, do spinning toe drag shots, and pick the puck up on your stick and score from behind the net. These are really great moves that will influence the outcome of every game.

3 on 3 NHL Arcade screenshot - BrodeurW

As I mentioned above, we have Skill Stick in the game with all its glory. In addition to the familiar Skill Stick moves we have added Trick Shots to it. These are done using the right stick and a modifier. The outcome of this addition is a new mechanic that Skill Stick users will have fun with and will allow them to score some amazing goals.

As you’ll find out, the result is an electrifying game that looks as good as it feels, and is easy to use. So take a look at the trailer to see what it’s all about!

//Add Your Own

114 Comments   2 Replies


+ AwRy108 on February 4th, 2009 at 1:31 pm said:

PLEASE add the ability to use custom soundtracks–the whole experience would be more intense if played to some of my own screamo or hardcore music!


+ WINNERS_CIRCLE24 on February 4th, 2009 at 1:38 pm said:

i really dont like it looks childish :(


+ SOOPERGOOMAN187 on February 4th, 2009 at 1:38 pm said:

I am BUYING THIS GAME! You have sold me on it. I am Canadian and this will be nice to see our Home Grown Newfoundlander Yes Dan Cleary in the game. Thanks, maybe me and my Dad will have to play this as we watched the whole Stanley Cup together. Thanks again for keep us Hockey minded folks, well in mind.


+ NARDE15 on February 4th, 2009 at 1:42 pm said:

looks hilarous


+ mountain_duwe on February 4th, 2009 at 1:43 pm said:

GOTY 2009


+ DonnyG on February 4th, 2009 at 1:43 pm said:

that goalie is huge


+ Se7enthSign on February 4th, 2009 at 1:45 pm said:

Really? Finally a game on PS3 is actually supporting the 7 player capability? (well 6 it seems, here) How will that work?


+ PAYBACK-joker on February 4th, 2009 at 1:49 pm said:

Wow, we’re actually getting some sort of exclusivity here huh, very nice? Microsoft must not have wanted this one, is that the reason?

Well, at least we’re getting something.

I truly like NHL Hitz and I just hope this game is as fun as it was.


+ ROLO_ONFIRE on February 4th, 2009 at 1:58 pm said:

Looks good, will there be a demo?


+ JoE5005 on February 4th, 2009 at 2:05 pm said:

So does that mean six people can play at a time online? Three on one team, and three on another?


+ mikemustillo on February 4th, 2009 at 2:10 pm said:

Thanks EA!!! Can’t wait to get my hands on this … OH CANADA !!!


+ rAdIOhEad73 on February 4th, 2009 at 2:12 pm said:

This a fantastic idea for a game, I love sport arcade games, I’ll be looking forward to this


+ BoxFanNinja on February 4th, 2009 at 2:15 pm said:

We need more freestyle games please!


+ tbone547 on February 4th, 2009 at 2:19 pm said:

So, how many players offline? And how many can play on one system online? It sounds like there’s six players offline in the post, but it isn’t clear.

This is definitely more my speed of Sports game.


+ GGCAN on February 4th, 2009 at 2:48 pm said:

Thanks for the post Matt.

Looks like a great game and for 9.99 I think you’re definatly going to have a few buyers.


+ x3AM on February 4th, 2009 at 2:53 pm said:

Voice chat?


+ angelcoma on February 4th, 2009 at 3:01 pm said:

BOUGHT, I’m a fiend for arcade style sports games. Virtua Tennis and Virtua Striker. This looks awesome, there was a game like this on Xbox (early) I think it was the ‘Hitz’ series. Great series.


+ daviddoel on February 4th, 2009 at 3:04 pm said:

Is there voice chat?

If there is voice chat and I can easily setup a game with my friends, it’s an instant purchase.


+ NewOldMan on February 4th, 2009 at 3:06 pm said:

hey EA guys, what about a 5 vs 5 mini soccer game? it could be fun too :)


+ INTVGene on February 4th, 2009 at 3:07 pm said:

Will definitely buy!


+ Shrim on February 4th, 2009 at 3:10 pm said:

Any word on European release date/price? Please say we see it tomorrow.


+ S-E-G on February 4th, 2009 at 3:12 pm said:

is there an option to put our own face with the eye cam on the hockey player?


+ Spurvugle on February 4th, 2009 at 3:19 pm said:



+ Lokiroo420 on February 4th, 2009 at 3:21 pm said:

Nice price guys, good job! Any other arcade sports on the way?


+ SoYoung on February 4th, 2009 at 3:31 pm said:

to #8. Its not the case for all games. Afro Samurai is released last week and dont haves trophies.


+ LN_MEXWARRIOR on February 4th, 2009 at 3:55 pm said:

In-game xmb music? Trophies? No buy if not…


+ SuperSonic1305 on February 4th, 2009 at 4:15 pm said:

Will trick moves be in NHL 2010?


+ OddyOh on February 4th, 2009 at 4:39 pm said:

I hope the Big Heads are optional…if they aren’t, please make it an option. But thanks for another hockey game, the best sport there is!


+ glody on February 4th, 2009 at 5:48 pm said:

Do you guys not find it amazing the creativity of game developers/publishers finding new business models to exploit consumers these last couple years? Not 4-5 years ago, this mini game would have been included on the same disk as NHL’09. Greed version 2.0 in my book. All the little trinkets you are forced (or not) to purchase if you want to make a game MORE interesting than it was before…With that said, I will probably still buy/download this game haha…


+ blindrocket on February 4th, 2009 at 6:41 pm said:

Sweet. I will probably grab this because it looks fun. I need more multiplayer games like this.


+ ThAGRiZZ45 on February 4th, 2009 at 7:23 pm said:

You know this is great and all but I expected some higher resolution from EA. Photographed heads?
Idk I’ll have to see if my friends get this one. =/


+ CrusherX on February 4th, 2009 at 8:48 pm said:

I bought NHL 09, so even though this looks awesome I’m still iffy. That being said, a lot of my mates aren’t exactly harcore ice hockey players (like pretty much everyone in New Zealand), so I might pick this up to mess around with in after-school parties. :P


+ BigPoppaB on February 4th, 2009 at 9:32 pm said:

will there be a demo?

This is a game id really need to try before buying… seeing as I already have (and love) NHL 09… i kinda need to know that it offers a different experience by playing it.

Also, is there announcers?

and is it just 2 random teams? why not have all 30 teams… or at least countries?


+ karmachameleon on February 4th, 2009 at 9:32 pm said:

As much as I wish I was looking forward to NHL 3on3 Arcade, its doesn’t feel like what it deserves. I always wanted EA to do a BIG/Freestyle treatment to the sport like NBA Street, NFL Street or FIFA Street. Why is it so hard to do a crazy version of NHL Street. A game where I can play road hockey and check players into parked cars. Or better yet dodge oncoming traffic. Maybe driving a zamboni as a powerup. 4on4 party play mode. Crazy powerups. Stylized graphics. NHL Allstar Challenges as well. C’mon EA hook us up.


+ LUGIEZ on February 4th, 2009 at 9:37 pm said:

i think this has warranted a purchase.


+ Vegaz on February 4th, 2009 at 9:42 pm said:

Hope there’s a demo to try. I have a 360 too so I’d eventually get to try it but I don’t want to wait. (It’s off for “repair” for the 6th time so about 3 weeks untill I could try it if there’s no demo)


+ icat_nl on February 4th, 2009 at 10:34 pm said:

EU store??


+ SmokeAdellic on February 4th, 2009 at 10:57 pm said:

This game looks cool and I will most likely be purchasing it but whats up with some Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists Of Plastic?


+ Gambit07 on February 4th, 2009 at 10:58 pm said:

That is one strange looking game.


+ TallCrowe on February 5th, 2009 at 12:19 am said:

For almost 10 bucks I might check it out.


+ SirIGetLaidNot on February 5th, 2009 at 2:42 am said:

Cool Matt, I’ll be picking this up asap looking really fun!


+ StalkingSilence on February 5th, 2009 at 3:39 am said:

It won’t have co-op online will it? Lovin the 6 player online support!!! Cool to see this might hit simultaneously with EA Sports Complex in Home.


+ scorpio182 on February 5th, 2009 at 6:38 am said:


I loved the HITZ(3vs3) game on the PS2 and played it a lot.

This of course it better with the NHL09 controls and it being a PSN title 1. being 9.99 and 2. always on your HDD to play.

I will be getting this for sure…


+ TyrionXavier on February 5th, 2009 at 6:48 am said:

Can you play 6 players on 1 console, to have a 3 vs 3 local game?


+ coastermaniac on February 5th, 2009 at 7:42 am said:

I’m assuming from the post that you can, but I’m not sure.

OT: lol awesome! I’ll most likely get it. Looks like a lot of fun.


+ SirIGetLaidNot on February 5th, 2009 at 8:44 am said:

It’s out under “All Games”.

Have fun!


+ Sporting_4_Eva on February 5th, 2009 at 9:30 am said:

Just added some funds so I can get this once I get home from work should be fun to play. I also always like the arcade style games.


+ Rockbaba on February 5th, 2009 at 10:56 am said:

Hi Folks this is my first posting!

I buyed NHL Arcade in the German Shop, but there is a big deficit!
The Game has not a friend invite!
Please EA patch the Game.


+ scorpio182 on February 5th, 2009 at 11:02 am said:

I played the Euro Demo and it was but the demo was too short.


+ Brently4 on February 5th, 2009 at 12:50 pm said:

@96 I just looked there and its no where to be found….I also looked at new releases and still didn’t see it where’d it go!!!!>?????

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