A recent playtest for the upcoming NHL 24 has revealed the series is heading in a new direction. Now several disabled players are calling on Electronic Arts to reverse the decision to remove NHL 94 Controls from the game. Demonstrating that accessibility sells games, some even noted they won’t buy the game without it as they wouldn’t be able to play.
In the NHL game franchise, the NHL 94 Controls have been a staple for a long time. The simple control scheme blends arcade style controls with the simulation of the game. As it needs only a few inputs to effectively play, NHL 94 Controls is popular among players with limited mobility. Special Effect has a YouTube video explaining the NHL 94 Control scheme in NHL 17.
Hybrid Controls will return
Another control scheme, called Hybrid Controls, was also removed in NHL 24. The only remaining control scheme from previous games was Skill Stick, joined by a new control scheme called Total Control. After player feedback, EA has confirmed on X / Twitter that the Hybrid Control scheme will return. Although players will have to wait for a post-launch update to NHL 24.
At this moment there is no indication that there are any plans to include NHL 94 Controls in NHL 24. A community manager on EA’s Answers HQ has confirmed the dev team is aware of the requests from disabled players.
We certainly hope that the developers will include the control scheme. For disabled players it isn’t simply a preference they can adapt to, but a necessity to be able to play. If this change affects you as a player, you could help by giving constructive feedback to EA in the appropriate channels, such as the official NHL 24 forums.