The NHL is launching its first fan experience on the online gaming platform Roblox that will bring hockey-inspired games and customizable team jerseys to the metaverse.
NHL Blast, announced by the league Thursday, “will allow hockey fans and the Roblox community to hang out and play in a new online space that features many elements of NHL fandom,” said David Lehanski, NHL executive vice president of business development and innovation.
The league said NHL Blast will be available on computers and mobile devices.
Among the features coming to Roblox:
• Teams of five will play hockey in “fantastical, obstacle-filled environments,” including one inspired by the NHL’s street hockey initiative.
• Skating and shooting mechanics that mimic the movements of actual NHL players.
• Users can choose to wear any NHL jersey with their Roblox username and custom number. There are also customizable goalie masks.
• At the Upper Deck Selfie Station, users can snap photos of their digital avatars living out hockey poses commonly featured on NHL trading cards.
• Updates will sync NHL Blast with marquee events. That includes 3-D goal recreations from the 2023 Stanley Cup Final using the league’s NHL EDGE puck and player tracking technology — the same technology used to create the Disney XD “Big City Greens” game this season.
NHL Blast was built by metaverse development studio The Gang.
“We appreciate the NHL’s focus and boldness on embracing fun, innovative gameplay and rewarding users with great customization options that make them feel like pro players,” The Gang CEO Marcus Holmstrom said.
Under commissioner Gary Bettman, the NHL made its first forays into esports and created a youth advisory board in 2019 called NHL Power Players.
Bettman has indicated that reaching younger fans has been a priority for the league. According to Statista, 23% of Roblox games users worldwide were 9-12 years of age as of December.
SOURCE : www.espn.com