For me, a baseball season just isn’t complete without my own virtual experience on the side. I am a gamer, and I love to take over a franchise and make a run at the World Series year in, year out on my Xbox 360. It usually starts with me assuming control of the Pittsburgh Pirates, which I abandon annually after the sad realization that my favourite team is comprised mostly third and fourth tier talent, and then I opt to take over a power house and waltz my way to victory. As we wade through the offseason that is, I am coming to grips with the reality that my baseball gaming experience is scheduled for extinction.

Take-Two Interactive, publishers of the MLB 2K series for Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation, have all but officially declared that they’re out of the baseball game market. Next season, at least for Xbox 360 owners, there will not be a baseball simulation option. Take-Two’s venture into baseball gaming has been something of a disaster. There are a few areas in which the 2K series has trumped Sony’s MLB: The Show (i.e. – its analog pitching controls), but for the most part it’s been a glitch-ridden inferior experience compared to what’s offered by Sony’s effort.

It’s been a long but expected path to departure from the genre for Take-Two, which expected an annual loss on its MLB product upwards of $35 million as early as 2010, but they continued to serve their license while only marginally improving the series entries. Despite its glaring deficiencies, baseball sim craving Xbox 360 owners continued to gamble on the 2K series, with approximately 370,000 copies of MLB 2K12 sold globally this year (figures via VGChartz).

So, what now for Xbox 360 owners?

Sony’s MLB: The Show, available exclusively on Sony’s Playstation console and handheld devices, has established itself as console seller for many baseball fans, and there’s bound to be more than a handful of baseball loving gamers crossing over come spring 2013. Despite growing stale in some areas of game development, The Show is set to rule the roost in terms of baseball video gaming. EA Sports was thought to be the obvious entity to snatch up the abandoned MLB licencse, but the company has expressed little-to-no interest in re-entering the genre. EA last published an MLB video game seven years ago with the iconic MVP Baseball 2005. With their MLB license expiring, EA left game files open to be manipulated on its PC effort. MVP Baseball 2005 developed something of a cult following, spawning an online community that tinkered with everything from the game’s player and stadium models to it’s ball physics. It was MVP Mods, and it was a glorious experience for baseball gamers as next generation consoles struggled to meet the demands of realism.

Much to the disappointment of fans of the MVP series, EA Sports executive Andrew Wilson has stated that an MLB game is not in the company’s immediate plans:

No, we’re not. Do I like baseball? Absolutely, I’m a huge baseball fan. But right now, we’re focusing on the franchises we’ve got. We’re focused on doing the UFC, and making it big and global. Is there an opportunity for us to do something with baseball one day? I hope so. But are we doing anything with baseball today? It’s just not something we’re working on right now.

Via Jon Robinson, ESPN Playbook

EA isn’t out of the baseball genre completely, though. The company unveiled an MLB Facebook game last spring, and they released a version of MVP Baseball in Korea (FIGHTING!). The optimist would wager that EA Sports could be attempting to regain their footing in the baseball gaming market by catching up with advancements in the genre on a smaller scale with a Korean Baseball League themed release? We can only hope so, my fellow Xbox devotees.

Other than jumping ship to Sony Playstation (not happening because Halo, amirite?), our options are limited. We can wrangle a copy of MLB 2K12 or MVP Baseball 2005 for PC and hope for an MVP Mods update, or we eschew the joys of pitching, hitting and fielding altogether and assume the role of team executive in Out of the Park Baseball. Or we just take the hand we’ve been dealt and put on a smile in the summer of sad.

Comments (27)

  1. The PSMove pitching controls in The Show 12 are absolutely incredible, and batting is tons of fun too. Once they improve fielding & baserunning, I don’t see myself using a controller for baseball ever again. Come to the Dark Side, we have popcorn.

  2. Are us PC only guys equally screwed?

  3. CSFBL (can google it – it’ll find it) is a junior comparable to OOTPB. Free as well.

  4. Ugh, I was afraid of this happening. Buying a PS3 soon then, I was contemplating it for the Uncharted series and the new Playstation All Stars (amazingly fun with friends) but now I HAVE TO get my baseball sim fix.

  5. NOOOOOO… (even though the last couple years 2K hasn’t update the game much. might need to pick up a used PS3 now)

  6. Loyal player of The Show since 08. Can’t go wrong with PS3.

  7. If only they could combine the show and ootp

  8. It sucks that EA isn’t getting back into the market (yet?) and this is coming from a PS3 owner. I liked the version of The Show I had, but I just couldn’t get into it the same as I got into the last EA MVP game I owned (MVP 2004).

    With all the Blue Jays moves I was really excited and was hoping that EA would have a game coming out this year since I remembered the license being up. Sucks that there won’t be anything for you 360ers this year though.

  9. The Show is so much better than the 2k series, I’m surprised that there are people actually upset about Take-Two not being in it anymore.

    • Because there is nothing on XBOX 360 anymore idiot, not because we love the game.

      • You should make the switch to PS3. I did 3 years ago and never looked back.

      • I regard xbox as the inferior system, so I don’t really sympathize with people who own them. This factoid does NOT make me an idiot.

  10. After EA left the baseball market, I made a decision to go with PS3 specifically because of the show and haven’t regretted that decision since. The Show is an amazing game, and it just gets better with every release.

  11. I am done with Xbox for good then.To PS3 I go.

    They’ll never see another dollar from me.

  12. If you’re a baseball fan and gamer, you’ve done yourself a good three years of disservice by not jumping ship to ps3 and The Show

  13. Literally the ONLY reason I bought the PS3.

    Bows down to The Show.

  14. the show is hands down the greatest baseball series ever

  15. Wow terrible news. I own four video games. Three of them are the previous three MLB 2k games. Yes, I do suck.

  16. Why can’t you own both systems? (aside from cost on a tight budget) Halo’s grand, and although gears isn’t something I can get into, I can’t help but acknowledge it’s value objectively speaking. But PS3 has more to offer than just baseball and Uncharted. I have both systems and get the best of the best always. lol. Also great on PS3, Uncharted, God of War, inFamous, LBP, Metal Gear Solid, Killzone, Heavy Rain, The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, Demon Souls, Ratchet and Clank, Resistence, Journey, Gran Turismo…. the list goes on, mate. All AAA titles. Own both and you’ve got everything you could ever want. (Except for Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii which I hear is amazing.)

  17. Bought a PS3 years ago just to play the copy of MLB The Show 07 that I won in a DJF livethread. No regrets. The Show the Best.

  18. I still play MVP Baseball 2003. Why, you might ask? It still has the Expos. I’m not terribly comfortable paying money to MLB for a game that doesn’t let me have an Expos franchise… but with the Blue Jays stuff going on, I’m starting to get more interested in watching baseball again… so maybe I’ll get a used copy. It’d be tough to play without the Expos though…

    • Understandable. Each year I pick up the new baseball game hoping I’ll be able to create a new version of the Expos and use them in franchise mode and each year I am disappointed.

      I’m not sure why the companies allow us to create teams for online play but not for franchises. :(

      I want Nos Amours back!

  19. The Show > Halo

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