R.B.I. Baseball 14: Legendary Series Returns to Current and Next-Gen Consoles

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJanuary 14, 2014

image from RBI Baseball on Facebook

Talk about a revival. After almost 20 years away, the legendary R.B.I. Baseball video game franchise is returning, and it's backed by the heaviest hitter of all: Major League Baseball.

The following tweet was posted on Tuesday night from Major League Baseball's Public Relations Twitter account.

The game will be available on current-gen, next-gen and mobile platforms.

It is always big news whenever a new sports gaming franchise is introduced, but when it's a new—but also old—series it's even more intriguing. 

The game is being developed by Major League Baseball Advanced Media, but published by Take-Two Interactive. MLBAM is a powerhouse whose far-reaching business relationships include major organizations like the WWE, Netflix, ESPN 3, Top Rank Boxing and others, per Mike Ozanian of Forbes.

The company is owned collectively by all 30 major league teams, and it runs MLB.com as well as every team's individual site. 

With that in mind, the expectations for statistical, player, team and stadium authenticity will be at an all-time high. The impact and success of MLBAM's At Bat mobile app only adds to the high standards.

Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal says folks have been joking about sabermetrics in R.B.I. Baseball 14's title, but you best believe advanced statistics won't be a joking matter upon release. It is the new wave in sports, and next-level stat tracking will be on the minds of baseball gamers as they examine the revived franchise.

It was a smart move for MLBAM to acquire the rights to the R.B.I. game, as it is one of the most beloved series in virtual baseball history. If the developers involved can create a fun, visually attractive, stat-powered and realistic game, it could equate to an ideal blend of contemporary appeal and nostalgic value.

Check out this footage from R.B.I. Baseball 93 when the game was developed by Tengen.

We don't know much more about this title just yet. We haven't even learned if it will be a text-based simulation like Out of the Park Baseball, or a full-action game like MLB The Show. If it is the latter, it would represent the only competition for The Show in its genre. 

Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners may have reason to rejoice as this could fill a huge void left by the MLB 2K franchise. The MLB 2K series was abandoned by 2K Sports earlier this year, leaving Microsoft gamers without a baseball game. The Show is a PlayStation exclusive. 

For those getting too excited about the prospects of this new game, there should be a measure of caution with your enthusiasm.

With Sony being another official partner of MLBAM, it seems R.B.I. Baseball 14 as a full-action game would be a peculiar move. Perhaps that isn't the case and MLBAM and Sony have an understanding on this front, but it'll be interesting to see what the next piece of information will be on this title.

Stay tuned as news becomes available on this potentially exciting new product.


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