Out of the Park Baseball Will Feature MLB.com and MiLB Licensing

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 6:30 am


Despite its popularity among a hardcore group of fans the management game Out of the Park Baseball – which has been a mainstay on PC and in recent years expanded to mobile – has struggled to break out sales wise beyond that dedicated and passionate group.

One reason for that could be chalked up to a lack of Major League Baseball licensing. While real player names could be used (similar to how fantasy baseball services can utilize them without a cost involved) there was no MLB branding, team logos or team names included in the product.

Out of the Park Developments announced today that both the MLB.com and MiLB licenses have been acquired and will first appear in Out of the Park Baseball 16. They will also apply to the mobile version (iOS and Android) which will be titled MLB Manager 2015.

The games will now feature official league logos, team logos and jerseys for all 30 MLB teams, over 150 MiLB team logos, historical MLB logos, and all 30 current MLB ballparks.

Downloadable mods created by users for adding in team names and logos have always been available for the PC version but having the actual license is a tremendously different animal. As much as some might believe creation and sharing options are a substitute for licensing that’s just not the case for general consumers and casual sports fans. The exposure and marketing potential that comes with having MLB attached is critical for reaching a wider audience.

Those that pre-order the game prior to February 16 will get it for $34.99 which is $5 off what will be the regular $39.99 retail price when it releases in March. Continue on to check out the full slate of new features! 

2015 Opening Day Rosters
The brand new 2015 roster sets will include all Opening Day MLB rosters, via a free update released shortly after Opening Day, as well as the complete minor league system down to the rookie leagues. All major league (and certain minor league) player ratings are based on Baseball Prospectus’ industry-leading player forecasting system, PECOTA. The thousands of remaining minor league players will be rated manually by OOTP’s established research team.

New international and independent leagues added
Last year, OOTP 15 introduced seven international leagues in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Cuba, Italy and The Netherlands. This year, OOTP 16 will add the Australian Baseball League to that list, along with several independent leagues in the US and Japan. All of those leagues will feature real rosters, with countless hours of work invested in researching realistic player biographical information, statistics, and ratings.

New team owner goals
The new team owner will give short- and long-term goals, which may include: winning the World Series within X seasons; fixing a certain weakness on the roster; extending the contract of a star player; and much more. Players’ abilities to meet those goals not only decides if they’ll be fired but also determines if their contract will be extended at a higher salary, another new feature added this year. (The “cannot be fired” option will still exist in OOTP 16.)

Improved team finances and reporting
The team finance system has been redesigned, including new season ticket sales, a team finances screen based on widgets, a new accounting screen, and much more.

Completely redesigned manager and coaches system
Managers and coaches will have certain personalities and special skills or preferences, which will result in plenty of interesting choices. Managerial choices will include easy-going stat-heads and hard-nosed veterans, while some pitching coaches will excel at working with power pitchers and others will be better suited at overseeing finesse pitchers.

Recoded team strategy system
Players will be able to set their teams’ in-game strategies faster and easier than ever before, but if they play in GM-only mode, they may find that some managers won’t allow certain strategies to be dictated.

Better playoff coverage
A new Pennant Chase screen will display the strength of the remaining schedule and the chance for each team to make the playoffs. The related news coverage was also improved.

Improved 3D ball flight
OOTP 15 introduced support for 3D stadiums and realistic 3D ball flight, which was a big step-up for the series. OOTP 16 improves on that 3D presentation and will include great-looking 3D models of all 30 MLB ballparks.

Much more
• New play modes (Manager only, GM only, and GM + Manager)
• An improved simulation engine that incorporates the latest research and trends, such as infield shifts and pitcher usage
• Rainouts with automatic rescheduling (including double-headers), adding the realism that comes with rain-shortened and cancelled games
• Better in-game sound effects
• An enhanced interface, such as a player info pop-up when resting the mouse pointer over a button which links to a player, or automatic syncing between lineups and depth charts when making changes to either of them.
• Find-A-Player feature: Define certain criteria (ratings, stats, salary etc.) and find the right player
• Recoded All-Star Game features with real voting (including online league support)
• Realistic OOTP Hall of Fame selection process, including simulated voting and new stats like JAWS, HoF Standards, Black & Grey Ink Tests
• More player awards
• Better playoff history tracking, including career playoff stats for all real players in the database and playoff leaderboards
• Alternate currencies (Euro, Pounds Sterling, Yen, etc.)
• The option to define background pictures for teams and leagues
• And even more: Additional new features will be announced between now and when the game ships in March.