RBI Baseball returns after 20 year absence
Anyone old enough to remember the original NES surely remembers RBI Baseball. The franchise was a mainstay of the 8 and 16 bit eras, but gradually faded into obscurity, appearing for the last time nearly twenty years ago. Now, Major League Baseball is bringing the game back, with a new version launching this spring across current and next generation consoles and mobile devices. Read on for all the details.
When I was a kid, few games spent more time in my NES than RBI Baseball. The game, and its sequel, were perennial favorites of mine, and memories of epic World Series games played against my brother still float lovingly through my head from time to time. RBI Baseball was the first home console baseball game to license real MLB players, and found that rare sweet spot between simulation and arcade which made it a must-own for any baseball fan. With the exception of Tecmo Super Bowl, there probably isn’t a sports game that had more of an impact on the NES generation than RBI Baseball.
So you can imagine how excited I was when it was announced earlier today that the game was making a comeback. RBI Baseball 14 will be launching this spring on both current and next generation consoles, as well as smartphones and tablets. So that’s pretty cool, right? The good news pretty much ends there, though. According to the game’s comically brief press release, RBI Baseball 14 is being developed internally at Major League Baseball by the company’s advanced media unit. So the folks who run mlb.com and build mobile apps are now developing a full fledged video game and launching it across multiple platforms. Sooooo… not that I’m saying they can’t do it, but my expectations for the game’s quality have been adjusted accordingly. Let’s just hope this isn’t another example of a corporation taking a treasured name from gaming’s past, and callously using it for a quick cash grab.
Major League Baseball has set up a website and twitter feed to keep us updated, and I’ll be watching. Closely.