Ben Brinkman talks MLB 2K8

Posted April 5th, 2007 at 4:45 am

mlb 2k7

While the actual MLB season just started, it seems its not too early to discuss the problems in MLB 2K7 along with part of the plan for next year’s title. IGN sat down with the Lead Designer for the 2K series Ben Brinkman to get his response to feedback on 2K7 and how he plans to steer the franchise in the coming year.

“MLB 2K7 was the first step in a long process of reinventing the 2K Sports baseball brand and the MLB franchise. 2K7 was year one of that, and a lot of that was just getting back onto stable ground — getting back with the people who play our game and putting something out there that they’re happy with, they have a blast playing and that they can play for an extended period of time. I think we delivered upon that, especially given the short timeline with which we had to create that game.”

I think they were successful in doing this. There are glaring issues with the game, but at the very least its fun again and has reached a level of respectability that was missing the past couple years.

A handful of problems with the game were addressed. Issues with the fielding, AI, presentation, and franchise mode. Of that bunch, the only one that stands out to me is the fielding. The AI and presentation may have been lacking somewhat, but it would be down farther on my list of things to work on. The franchise end of things could be deeper, although I suspect outside of the hardcore crowd aspects such as playable minor league teams aren’t as important as they’re made out to be.

Brinkman agreed with these criticisms, stating quite bluntly, “I personally think that whole fielding system sucks.”

It’s great the candor Brinkman speaks with. Its rare to find anyone in those type of positions making honest and non-PR driven remarks. At the very least it shows that he recognizes the problems and has the pride behind the product to want to get everything right.How about the biggest problem with the game though, which is the lack of hit variety and homerun heavy scoring? That alone has turned me off to the game long-term, and literally killed the league I was running at SportsGamer. If you’re lucky enough to get a basehit or a double, you’re probably not going to string several of those together. The runs will still come in on homeruns which fly out at an extraordinary rate. The rest of the time you’re relegated to solo homeruns. How was this not raised at the meeting?

It was surprising to hear Brinkman speaking out about the direction of the coming year right now, so soon after the release of 2K7. It seems to be a good sign though, and gives the fans a lot to look forward to.