Key Points:

  • NHL 20 is scheduled to launch in September, but some lucky people got in early.
  • Some Xbox One pre-orders unlocked this week.
  • One person was banned, but EA is working with Xbox to reverse it.
  • All HUT and World of Chel progress will be reset before launch
  • It's unclear whose mistake it was or how it happened.

EA's latest NHL game, NHL 20, isn't scheduled for release until September, but some lucky fans got access to the pro ice hockey game this week presumably due to a store error. EA's community manager wrote on Twitter today that the "ceremonial faceoff" for NHL 20 came a little early this year, as some players got into their pre-ordered version of the game on Xbox One ahead of launch.

One person was banned by Xbox, but EA is working with Xbox to have that reversed. Those who were lucky enough to get the jump on NHL 20 due to the mistake will not be penalized in any way, EA added; they also won't face a punishment for capturing gameplay.

Any footage you come across online from this accidental release comes with the caveat that it's not final and subject to change. Additionally, some of the content in the mistakenly released early version of NHL 20 won't be there in the full release.

Players who got to play NHL 20 early (it's not immediately clear if the game is still available) should be aware that EA will wipe Hockey Ultimate Team and World of Chel progress at launch. Additionally, EA pointed out that people who got in early will still be able to open their pre-order HUT packs and exclusive World of Chel content when NHL 20 officially releases.

This is all very strange and unusual, and EA did not say if it was a mistake of its own or one made by Xbox. This doesn't appear to have happened with the PlayStation 4 version of NHL 20.

An update around some players being able to access #NHL20 yesterday.

— Clappy (@TheClapperton) August 13, 2019

NHL 20's beta took place back in July, and EA Sports is now addressing feedback for launch on September 6 across PS4 and Xbox One. Like other EA games, it is expected that a time-limited version of NHL 20 will arrive multiple days early for EA Access members.

Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews is on the cover of NHL 20. The game also brings back the pond hockey mode from NHL 19, while it also has its own unique spin on battle royale. In addition, NHL 20 makes a major change for the commentary and broadcast package.