MLB 14: The Show Release Dates Strangely Still Not Official

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Posted January 23rd, 2014 at 11:00 am

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With just under six weeks until the usual launch date for sim licensed baseball games, the first Tuesday in March based on the terms of the MLB contract, the lull in marketing and any information relating to MLB 14: The Show has become notable. It’s been discussed briefly on the Press Row Podcast along with Kotaku and Operation Sports writing about the topic.

Typically in the past features and other details have started flowing in early-mid January. On some occasions gameplay videos have even been available by this time while the series has often been on put on display at CES which is held early in the month (however it was absent this year). Never has there been uncertainty about a release date. There are two huge new variables that could be altering the marketing strategy however. The lack of established competition and the first release on the PS4. 

With the secrecy over the release date it has become evident that something atypical is taking place. Maybe it’s nothing and everything is going to be crammed into a smaller window this year but that wouldn’t explain why SCEA refuses to confirm the date. It could be that all versions are being shifted back a few weeks closer to the start of the Opening Day. EA Sports found that moving Madden closer to the regular season helped awareness and sales and that could also be the case now for The Show. With MLB 2K gone – and R.B.I. Baseball 14 not expected to be true competition – SCEA would not be risking a loss of sales to another product.

The other possibility is that the PS3 version will come out in March and the PS4 version and maybe even Vita pushed back a month or more. There is precedent for SCEA to release the new generation’s first title late. MLB 07: The Show arrived for the PS3 on May 15, 2007 with the PS2 and PSP versions having gone out February 26, 2007. Interestingly the ESRB has already cleared through the PS3 version of MLB 14 yet the PS4 and Vita have not completed the process…if they’ve even been submitted for it yet. That could indicate a gap between their respective releases.

The fight for consumer dollars on the PS4 and even Xbox One really begins to ramp up in March. Sony’s own Infamous: Second Son has a release date of 3/21 and they have Driveclub expected around that time. Titanfall will be garnering a great deal of attention for Microsoft when it arrives on 3/11. If a delay to the PS4 version of The Show is happening moving away from all that could prove beneficial though it wouldn’t be the reason why. It would also mean contesting with 2014 FIFA World Cup and EA Sports UFC during the April-May period. SCEA would be able to capitalize on hardcore baseball fans potentially buying on the PS3 and then later the PS4 – but that proved inconsequential to total sales for Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, and NBA 2K14.

It’s easy to forget about the game for the PS3 with so much focus now on the PS4 but that will still be an important seller for the company. Considering that there has been absolutely nothing said about the PS3 version – the only info so far has been specific to the PS4 – it has to be especially unnerving for those interested in the game. SCEA also still hasn’t detailed the changes to the currency system which has allowed concern that will be present prior to release for all sports games now to fester.

It’s definitely not the norm to be this close to a league licensed product’s expected release and have uncertainty surrounding the official date. That surely is not a reflection on anticipated quality but instead a shift in marketing plans that may include moving the date back or releasing different versions on different dates. Needless to say all that will have to be communicated soon – rosters would already be locked down and the game nearing gold status if it were to release in early March – to coincide with the initial rush of information on the products and the consumer interest that will follow.

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  • fantasyboi

    SCEA is pulling the biggest b.s. ever right now and it’s gotta be because they know they can….even if 2k was around (which i hate) id have my mind set on that over The Show right now just because of the way they r treating it….They r being so quiet and it’s pissing ppl off. I switched over to the PS from XBox just bcuz of The Show and I am honestly over all of this. I honestly think if there was competition they would take a big hit…idk what they are doing over there but this game better be FLAWLESS or else it could hurt them badly in the future.

    • joef

      Stop crying. Who cares. Its the best sports game out there and they know this. This is 1 game that I’m not worried about because year after year they deliver.

    • FrankC

      First year sports games on new hardware always have flaws (look at 2k and madden or any other generation). I have no doubt the graphics in this game will be stunning and the gameplay of 13 the show was already really good. The main thing I hope they improve on is fielding because it’s not as smooth as it could be. Either way, trust me, you won’t be disappointed by this franchise.

    • Casor_Greener

      Enhance graphics same gameplay

    • insomnizach

      did you just start your period?

    • Smsixx

      Good god…You just need to chill out dude. The game is probably just getting a date closer to the start of the season but the company is unclear of which date that Is exactly (marketing sometimes gets blown in to a chess game sometimes).

    • jacktripper39

      Stop crying you big wuss. Have they ever let you down? They have been consistent every year on delivering great gameplay.

  • Ron Burgandy

    They are saying over at OS that the PS4 version is expected to arrive later. One of the Community Day guys said that and he said he wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. Makes sense considering the 1 year cycle for the new system probably isn’t enough time.

    • jamTT

      Fifa and Madden had less time and did just fine. 2K screwed things up badly though. Hoping that The Show isnt a mess like that and if it means extra time is needed im ok with that.

      • joef

        Remember we are talking about a Sony product. They probably started making this game before anyone else. Its going to be fine.

        • Keith.

          Russell posted this at OS recently — I agree, nothing to worry about:

          “There’s no conspiracy or grand design, everything is going according to our schedule for this year. There won’t be any less information about the game than there was last year. The schedule is different this year that’s all, nothing more nothing less.”

          • gregg

            that’s a great pr statement because it says absolutely nothing at all. completely meaningless.

    • Skopin

      I’m sure they had more than a year with the PS4. Third party developers were given more than a year with the hardware, so I’m sure the in-house team had at least as much time if not more.

      Going on SCEA’s track record, I wouldn’t be concerned regarding the quality of the game. It is definitely strange that there has been no info at all though.

  • Luke Randazzo

    Even though I only pick this up on the Vita each year, I hope it’s not delayed too long.

  • JKE

    Do people remember that MLB 07 on PS3 was kind of a mess? The extra time didnt mean it turned out to be really good.

    • Keith.

      MLB 07 on PS3 was awesome — not as good as the last couple of Shows, obviously, but nowhere near being “a mess.”

    • Tim Bliss

      Was it? I honestly don’t know. I didn’t move up to the PS3 version until 2008.

  • Brian

    The only reason I’m mad about this… it means more time I have to play NBA2K. FML.

  • Yausser1017

    I am a diehard baseball fan. I’m also a sports gamer. I got a PS4 solely for this game. If this game is delayed past the start of the baseball season, count me out. That is the best part of it, getting hyped about your team and building up hope that this year is the year. Delay this past April 1st and I will buy FIFA World Cup, that new golf game, and some other titles. I will not waste my money on a game after the season starts. Sports gaming companies make us buy a new game every year essentially for roster updates. I’m not buying a game for half a season.

    • Yausser1017

      Pasta – any idea when FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 will be on the market?

      • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

        The game has traditionally released in late April. I expect we’ll hear something definitive within the next couple weeks. Possibly next week during EA’s financial call.

    • Greg

      Jesus. You want some cheese with that WHINE?

      • Yausser1017

        I simply want the game for a full season if I am going to pay $60 bucks for it. When I see sales on steam selling awesome computer games for like $5, it makes you feel like you are getting ripped off on console games. You are a message board troll

      • Yausser1017

        And thank you Pasta for the help. I have been a long time lurker on your website and love the articles you write. Keep up the good work!

    • Smsixx

      So let me get this straight…Your a “diehard baseball fan” but if the best baseball game on the market comes out any later then April 1st you will refuse to buy it???

  • Greg

    I’m not worried at all about this. Who cares if it’s pushed back another month? We know it’s coming and it’s going to be a great game. People just need to relax and stop being so impatient.

  • Greg

    One thing I hope they do have is a new commentary team with the PS4 version. They could use some new blood and some excitement in the calling of the game. It’s gotten stale over the years.

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