Say what you want about Bud Selig, his reign as MLB commissioner brought the sport well into the 21st century, as he oversaw one last move that will forever endear Selig with fans of perhaps the best sports game in the business.
Out of the Park Developments, the creators of the more-addictive-than-(fill in the blank) Out of the Park Baseball computer game, reached an agreement with both MLB and MiLB to license the latest edition of the game, which will be available in March. The deal, long desired by OOTP maniacs, put the whipped cream and cherries on a game that has gone from underground secret to one that has gained a plethora of high marks for the unbelievable realism and inexhaustible options crafted over the past 15 years.
“We’re thrilled to be working with MLB Advanced Media to provide a feature that many of our fans have requested,” said lead developer and lifelong baseball fan Markus Heinsohn. “This promises to be the biggest year in the history of OOTP, and the best is yet to come.”
OOTP16 will have official league logos, team logos and jerseys for each of the 30 MLB teams along with over 150 MiLB logos. The game — which provides gamers with the ability to replay any season from 1871 thru last year’s dramatics — will also have historic MLB logos. (Yes! You can replay the 1980 season, complete with the rainbow-like colors of the National League West champion Houston Astros. No confirmation, however, on if the 1977 Chicago White Sox will be able to wear their shorts).
The series, which added an Apple-only mobile version in 2012, reached another major milestone with the announcement that the game will be available on Android. iOOTP Baseball will now be named MLB Manager and come with new features.
As for new features on OOTP16, the game will add an eighth international league in the form of the Australian Baseball League, which will join leagues in Japan, Mexico, Italy, The Netherlands, Cuba, South Korea and Taiwan (really, you’ll really appreciate this game when you play with a near freakish Wily Mo Pena mauling Japanese pitching) along with a host of independent leagues in both the US and Japan.
Other new features (remember, this is just a sample) will include:
- More demanding team goals from ownership, including both short and long-term goals.
- A revamped financial system that includes season-ticket sales.
- Redesigned managers and coaches system which will provide fans the chance to hire the likes of either a stats-heavy or hard-nosed vets only manager, while coaches can vary from thriving with developing rookie hitters or maximizing power arms.
- A MLB TV-like Pennant Chase screen
- Rainouts, which stand the potential to tax an already worn-down bullpen.
Last year’s version debuted realistic 3D ball flight, a featured that will be vastly improved. The addition of all 30 MLB ballparks will only enhance the tracking of a Bryce Harper bomb or a Jose Altuve gapper.
This is the first part of what should be a landmark year for Out of the Park Developments, which will debut their long-awaited pro football simulation, Beyond the Sideline Football, this summer. The game will settle in along with OOTP16 and its Franchise Hockey Manager series.