R.B.I. Baseball 14, the newest entry in a long-dormant video game franchise, is being produced by Major League Baseball Advanced Media and will be released this spring, the company announced in a press release today.
The game is being developed by MLB Advanced Media and will be released on "current- and next-generation consoles and smartphones and tablets," according to the press release. No further details are available at this time — for example, it's unclear if R.B.I. Baseball 14 will be a simulation or arcade baseball game — but interested parties can keep up with the game on its official website.
Prior to this evening's announcement, the only MLB-licensed video game coming in 2014 was Sony Computer Entertainment's MLB 14 The Show, which will be released this spring on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. Earlier this month, Take-Two Interactive announced it would not renew its licensing agreement with the MLB for its poorly regarded MLB 2K franchise, a decision that left Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners without any options for a baseball video game. It appears that that's no longer the case.
R.B.I. Baseball 14 will be the first console game produced by MLB Advanced Media, which is a partnership between the owners of all 30 MLB teams and serves as the league's interactive division. MLB Advanced Media runs the MLB website as well as MLB.TV, the streaming service that allows baseball fans to watch games on devices such as computers, smartphones, tablets and video game consoles.
R.B.I. Baseball 14 will be the first console game produced by MLB Advanced Media
Namco created the R.B.I. Baseball series, and the original R.B.I. Baseball debuted in 1986 on NES in Japan as a Tengen-published title. A total of eight games were released in the series through 1995, when RBI Baseball '95 launched on 32X and Super R.B.I. Baseball came out on SNES.
In 1993, Time Warner Interactive bought a majority stake in Tengen's parent company, Atari Games, and the 1995 R.B.I. titles were released under the Time Warner name. That was the last year for the series; an ESRB listing for an Xbox Live Arcade title called "R.B.I. Baseball" by Six Degrees Games appeared in May 2008, but the game never materialized. An ESRB listing from Take-Two Interactive exists for an Xbox 360 game named "R.B.I. Baseball," but it's unclear if that is related to MLB Advanced Media's announcement of R.B.I. Baseball 14 or Six Degrees' game.
We're reaching out to MLB Advanced Media for more details, and will update this article with any information we receive.
Update: A spokesperson for MLB Advanced Media told Polygon, "We do not have any additional details as part of the initial announcement."
Update 2: A representative for 2K Sports confirmed to Polygon that the label isn't involved with R.B.I. Baseball 14.