I guess I’ll be the first to say that they definitely don’t do alright with the NHL series in terms of gameplay. Unfortunately, NHL is the only hockey game on the market, so it still sells well.
I think a lot of it comes down to complacency. Outside of their NBA games, EA knows they’re going to get a significant amount of sales simply based on reputation and name recognition. If I’m a casual customer, seeing FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer on the shelf, I’m probably going to spring for the game that I know is associated with a name I recognize. It gets even better for EA with their NFL and NHL games, since there’s no competition.