Well, that didn’t take long.
After the future of multiplatform baseball games was called into question with the cancellation of the MLB 2K brand, a new suitor has stepped in to take over. And while the folks behind the project are new, the franchise itself is an old staple of the sports genre.
R.B.I. Baseball will make its big return for 2014, but it will no longer be a Tengen, NAMCO, or Six Degrees Games joint. Instead, development duties for R.B.I. Baseball 14 will fall to MLB Advanced Media, a totally new outfit in the world of video game development, but one that hopes to make waves with their first game.
Although the folks at MLB Advanced Media are new to video game development, they are well versed in the multimedia space. Not only is the company responsible for the MLB.TV streaming service, they are hard at work on the recently announced WWE Streaming Network. Needless to say, this is a company that is looking to make a splash in 2014.
As far as what gamers can expect from R.B.I. Baseball 14, we know that the game will be released this Spring for a multitude of platforms including current and next-gen consoles, smartphones, and tablets. Aside from that, however, details are hard to come by. Historically, R.B.I. Baseball has leaned more on the arcade side of things, but that was so long ago that it’s hard to say whether or not this new franchise will follow that same path.
Regardless, the good news is that Microsoft and presumably Nintendo gamers will have a baseball game for 2014, and it’s a recognizable name with a development team that’s looking to make a splash. However, such a quick turnaround time — provided this game wasn’t secretly in development for the past year or so — could lead to another NBA Live ’14 situation.
For that matter, R.B.I. Baseball is at a significant disadvantage when compared against Sony’s MLB: The Show franchise. Sony’s franchise has firmly established itself as one of the premiere names in sports games, but it will be interesting to see how MLB Advanced Media positions their game, and whether or not MLB 2K fans jump over to R.B.I.
Are you happy to discover there will be a multiplatform baseball game for 2014? How do you feel about R.B.I. Baseball returning?
R.B.I. Baseball 14 is targeting a spring release date for current-gen, next-gen, smartphones, and tablets.
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina