What Does No More Simulation MLB on Xbox 360 Mean to You?

Posted December 11th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

It was recently asked by Kotaku whether anyone will care that there will be no more baseball on the Xbox 360. The answer of course is yes, there are some who will care, but it certainly will not be a significant or influential contingent left abandoned. 

The MLB 2K series has been cancelled, as learned back in May, and to no one’s surprise. Take Two (parent company of 2K Sports) had long expressed their disgust with the third party exclusive deal the management had inherited from those in their seats prior. Losing over $30 million every year of the deal will do that but even still Take Two has long been in the process of shifting to almost solely owned IP rather than licensed properties. Only NBA 2K remains and that is because it has become a juggernaut while the competition has vanished.

Though MLB 2K held a quasi-exclusive on the Xbox 360 sales never came close to justifying the costs incurred even despite having the advantage of the largest user base to tap into. The series struggled immediately with MLB 2K6 as the console launched – games froze after the third inning requiring an eventual patch just to complete them – and it was never able to recover even though 2K Sports made real attempts to do so. They brought in Ben Brinkman (formerly of MVP Baseball) to lead – he only lasted two years – and the right stick pitching mechanics were innovative. MLB 2K9 should never have been released and represents the low point that really buried the series for good. Though some creative ideas came out of MLB 2K they were never able to produce a viable alternative product to MLB: The Show over on the PlayStation 3.

At this point though with the generation winding down there is no reason to think the lack of baseball on the 360 will affect The Show. MLB 2K was never any sort of competition. It has been 5+ years since it became widely recognized that the legitimate MLB product could only be found on the PS3. It was at that time that consumers who cared passionately about baseball were buying the console with it largely in mind. As the next Xbox and PS4 are just around the corner that prospect is far less appealing and those who have gone this long without it probably will continue to do so.¬†Though sales have slipped the last two years MLB: The Show is firmly entrenched and has become arguably the most predictable and certainly the most steady sports franchise on the market. MLB 2K barely registered a blip on the PS3 radar in sales and there just won’t be many flipping systems this late for a single game.

Microsoft had an opportunity earlier this generation to jump in with their own MLB product. They, along with Sony and Nintendo, were the only companies that could produce them given their first party status. Microsoft would be wise to be planning ahead and have something ready for the next Xbox whether that be the knowledge that a third party will be delivering a product on their platform or developing their own in-house. Baseball has never been a huge seller but it has proved to be a somewhat influential one. 2K Sports dropping the series also means the end to MLB on the PC for the foreseeable future.

What is your plan for baseball in 2013? Do you have a PS3 and nothing changes, or does the loss of MLB 2K have some impact? Vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments!

  • mcmax3000

    I voted The Show as usual, but I think I’ll be passing completely for 2013. I’ve picked up the Show on PS3 the last three years. I think it’s time to take a year off for now.

    • Amen_Ra

      I agree

      • HustlinOwl

        lmao you say this every year see you in March on MLB 13

  • I have both MLB 2k12 and MLB 12 The Show Ill just go without baseball not a big fan anyway love fixing the rosters in 2k12 better Im a roster correct guy and its much easier to do on 2k

  • Xbox is my main console. I bought a PS3 4 years ago just for the show and I don’t regret it.

  • I like how none of the poll options is, “I have a PS3 and prefer the 2K series over The Show”. Which is the option I would choose. The only reason I would choose that, is because the batting on The Show sucks and I can’t hit anything. It was much better on 2K baseball. They just need to change the batting and The Show would be golden.

    • So because you cant hit, the game sucks?

    • John John

      really? cuz i can hit everything

    • @PastaPadre,

      If you wanna know what not having a simulation sport on a console is like, just look at how we don’t have simulation football on ANY console right now.

      • Keith.


      • Khadeem

        or basketball…nba 2k sucks

        • sandul

          pfff… NBA JAM for the win! best simulation sports game period. Other than Baseball Simulator 1000 on the NES.

  • Keith.

    “Sales have slipped the last few years for The Show”

    Huh?? I know you don’t have a PS3 and could care less about The Show, but c’mon…you might want to stop just throwing whatever garbage you want out there.

    In reality, this year’s Show sold 750,000 on PS3 — which was almost 300,000 more copies than last year’s, plus another 120,000 on Vita. I’d say that’s not too shabby, and definitely not a reflection that sales are slipping.


    • novv

      Still using a website that makes up numbers huh? LOL

      • Keith.

        It’s as accurate as npd, IMO, and plenty analysts agree. If you ever read any stock reports when you grow up, you’ll see they refer to vgchartz just as often.

  • Perano

    Wheres the “i own a ps3 but the show is awful so i wont be playing baseball next year”I’m in the extreme minority, I am a huge baseball fan and have played baseball games since 93, I’ve played ken Griffey baseball, World Series baseball, frank Thomas baseball , triple play, backyard baseball, MLB, all star baseball, MVP baseball (my favorite) and now MLB 2K and the show.
    Point is, I love baseball games have played them for 20 years and I will always play them, except for next year.
    The Show is a godawful abomination of a baseball game. It plays absolutely nothing like baseball. The game looks much better, is far smoother and well polished than its 2K counterpart i cant deny, but as far as gameplay? its absurd. ive hit balls through infield gaps that go all the way to the wall. 2K was deeply flawed but I found it far more enjoyable than the show. I can’t play the show. I don’t understand how it has become such an acclaimed game.
    Now that the exclusive license has expired I’m hoping EA will bring back MVP for 2014

    • Amen_Ra

      I agree that it’s over rated in its current form, but would stop short of calling it awful

    • KentAZ

      Absurd. MVP Baseball 2005 was the next best thing and way ahead of its time, but The Show is by far the best baseball simulation ever produced. It’s not perfect, but much better than anything else that’s been produced.

    • sandul

      world series baseball was one of the best baseball games of all time on the Sega Genesis. It was so catchy, I played hundreds of games on that system.

  • ReelBigMike

    When I got a PS3, the only reasons I did were to play Heavy Rain and MLB 10: The Show.

  • The Show is the only reason I own a PS3.

  • I’ll add a new option. I own a Vita and would like to see a much improved version of The Show for the handheld. This is a first-party title on a platform that needs a boost. While Sony may not do much with the current console gen version of the Show, the Vita was designed to last a few years and can use a version of the game that is at least on par with the current console version’s features.

    • Keith.

      Pasta doesn’t have a Vita so don’t expect anything positive or helpful for the Vita version of MLB to be said here.

  • lonnie

    to answer your question..it means nothing to me because i have a PS3,,yes mlb the show is the reason i got one,in fact thats the only time i use it..

  • Sports gaming is dying a slow, painful death.

  • Fletcher

    I long since quit playing MLB 2K in favor of OOTP on PC. It is a very different game, but an aspect that I prefer and it is executed to perfection.

  • I’ll just keep playing the modded version of MLB 2k12 PC with updated stadiums, uniforms, and players.

  • wish i had baseball

    I for one have been craving a good baseball simulation of 360. Christ just make MVP baseball backwards compatible and i wont complain. It sucks!

  • greg

    I didn’t know that MLB on the XBOX 360 was a SIMULATION of baseball to begin with.

  • I have another option to add, the obvious one. “I own both but prefer to play on xbox, but will be getting the show just to have a baseball game.”

  • I don’t think I’ll be getting the Show this year. The only reason i got it last year was because of A. Gonzalez and now that he’s gone from Boston it has a bittersweet taste everytime i look at the cover. Basically I want there to be a COMPLETE baseball simulator, like let me make a choice on whether or not I want my players to argue strikes or balls, charge the mound or what. Let me decide whether my manager goes to argue a call and gets throw out. Add a player/manager interaction so that if i have a player who’s struggling on the field as a manager i can take him out of the line up but tell him i’m only doing it to protect him and have that translate into frustration or good things for that player…basically i want a complete overhaul of the series by adding the little things to what is an outstanding baseball game…

  • ClubSteve

    mlb 2k was no show….but it wasn’t horrible. i would be okay with missing a year and just a roster update.

    • KentAZ

      Other than the commentary it was terrible. The gameplay was laughable.

  • discusted

    sad comment on the gaming industry, no baseball on xbox, no football on either

  • RandomGuy

    I still own a PS2 and I’m good with it…SUCK IT.

  • MARZ76

    if 360 wasnt a console that focuses on just 4 exclusive games an 1 timed exclusive ”COD” every year they would have had a 360 mlb of there own. halo,gears of war,farza,fable an unknown they replace one with a new one that fails every year. if u want a realistic mlb game get ps3 the show the best an always will be