News & Updates
  • Press Row Podcast: Acquisitions and Delays
    Posted May 31st, 2021 at 10:30 am No Comments

    The Press Row Podcast returns with discussion on recent news including Electronic Arts buying Metalhead Software – the developers of Super Mega Baseball – and the first NFL game from 2K Sports under their new licensing deal being delayed until summer 2022.

    Check out the podcast through Apple Podcasts for iOS, on Android with the Stitcher app, or with Pocket Casts on iOS, Android, and Windows. The show can now also be found on Spotify! Subscribe and give the podcast five star reviews to help support the show. You can also listen with the streaming player found below.

  • EA has purchased Super Mega Baseball developer Metalhead Software
    Posted May 5th, 2021 at 4:00 pm No Comments

    Electronic Arts today announced that they have acquired the studio behind Super Mega Baseball, which delivered some of the best sports games in the latter half of the last generation of consoles.

    “We’re all players of Super Mega Baseball, and we’ve long admired the work of the Metalhead team. It’s a unique and beloved franchise among sports gamers – the balance and depth of gameplay, and the unique style of the content, makes it super fun to play with friends. We look forward to supporting and investing in the team so they can continue to build out more amazing games that delight sports fans around the world,” said Cam Weber, EA SPORTS EVP and GM. “EA SPORTS continues to expand, and we’re deeply excited to create more unique and interactive experiences that blur the lines between sports and entertainment.”

    There are two potential reasons why EA would look to bring in Metalhead and Super Mega Baseball. The most exciting in the short term is they have plans to apply the MLB license for the next release. This is the primary way in which SMB could grow and be accepted by the mainstream. It’s hard to imagine an unlicensed game being released under the EA Sports brand.

    The second is that EA acquired Metalhead for the talent. They may be assigned to develop different projects.

    What’s clear is that there is now a concerted effort to build back EA Sports to a level of relevance and respectability that few may even remember they once possessed. College football will be back in two years, golf is returning this year or next, Codemasters has been purchased to reach into racing with F1, and now baseball is on the way back.

    The library of titles is expanding but if the efforts don’t exceed those of Madden, FIFA, NHL and UFC then the widespread disappointment and frustration will not cease either. There isn’t that concern with Super Mega Baseball, unless of course EA executives negatively influence the design of the game going forward.

  • Press Row Podcast: Baseball and Golf Surprises
    Posted April 12th, 2021 at 8:00 am No Comments

    So many surprises in such a short time! Between MLB The Show 21 going on Xbox Game Pass the day it launches and EA announcing a brand new PGA golf game – exclusively featuring The Masters, no less – it’s been a wild few weeks.

    Check out the podcast through Apple Podcasts for iOS, on Android with the Stitcher app, or with Pocket Casts on iOS, Android, and Windows. The show can now also be found on Spotify! Subscribe and give the podcast five star reviews to help support the show. You can also listen with the streaming player found below.

  • MLB The Show 21 will launch as part of Xbox Game Pass
    Posted April 2nd, 2021 at 6:00 am No Comments

    Back when MLB The Show was announced in late 2019 to be coming to Xbox this year that news was considered a surprise, but today’s development is even more stunning. MLB The Show 21 will launch on April 20 as part of Xbox Game Pass. Those on Xbox Series X, Series S, and One will receive the full game as part of the subscription at no additional charge.

    We’re delighted to announce that MLB The Show 21 is coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one and will be available on April 20 for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, as well as on Android phones and tablets via Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) for Ultimate members. Both MLB The Show 21 Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S Standard Editions will be included with Xbox Game Pass so members will be able to play the best version of the game regardless of which console they’re on.

    This will sting for PlayStation only owners who have likely been loyal to the series over the years. It’s been nearly a decade since the platform became the only home for baseball fans. Now they’ll be forced to shell out not just full price, but an increased price on PlayStation 5 of $70, while those over on Xbox getting the series for the first time will essentially be doing so for free.

    So now MLB The Show will reach more potential consumers than ever before. The inclusion of cross-platform play, the first for a major licensed sports game, will bring all of them together online regardless of where it’s being played.

    Xbox Game Pass was already widely considered to be the best value in all of gaming. However it’s place in the sports gaming genre wasn’t that impactful, until it brought in the EA Play service six months ago and now The Show.

    MLB dictated the decision to make the series multi-platform and almost certainly was behind this latest move, so one now wonders what Sony might have in mind for a way to reward their user base rather than cede way to Microsoft as the destination of choice for baseball gamers.

  • EA Sports Announces Return of PGA Tour
    Posted March 29th, 2021 at 6:30 pm No Comments

    EA Sports today officially announced a new PGA Tour game is on the way however few details were provided beyond that. The most substantial of the limited information is that pros will be playable. That differentiates from now rival PGA Tour 2K which has built into its design that all golfers are equal and only equipment alters performance. That’s why the latest game in that series wouldn’t let you even see the pros play outside of near the greens through highlights let alone have them be controlled by users.

    In EA Sports PGA TOUR, golf fans will be able to build their virtual career and experience the sights, sounds, and thrills of the PGA TOUR including THE PLAYERS Championship, FedExCup Playoffs and more unforgettable events. The game will also feature many of the world’s most famous courses, where fans will have the option to play against and as some of the biggest names in professional golf.

    The news comes as a surprise given how hard it is to imagine two sim golf titles successfully coexisting under the current market conditions even if they alternate release years. It comes on the heels of 2K Sports snagging exclusive rights to Tiger Woods and having established The Golf Club/PGA Tour 2K as a premier series for golf fans in recent years. EA has been absent since Rory McIlroy released in 2015.

    Enthusiasm isn’t exactly off the charts for this announcement. The official EA Sports PGA Tour Twitter account, with over 50K followers, has only managed 67 retweets and 360 likes after nearly 16 hours from when it was originally posted. The official EA Sports account with over 2 million followers comparatively has done even worse.

  • Tiger Woods signs on with PGA Tour 2K
    Posted March 16th, 2021 at 4:00 pm No Comments

    An eight year absence from the virtual golf course is about to come to a close as Tiger Woods has signed an exclusive long-term deal with 2K Sports. After an extremely successful 11 years with EA Sports ended in 2013, though disrupted somewhat by off-the-course transgressions and decline in performance in the later stretch run, Tiger will now figure prominently in the future of golf video games with their rival.

    Additionally it was announced that developer HB Studios has been acquired by Take Two. Until now 2K Sports has only acted as the publisher of games from the independent studio.

    Woods’ partnership with 2K includes rights for his name and likeness to appear exclusively in the PGA TOUR 2K franchise, as well as any other golf games published by 2K during the partnership term.

    It’s unclear at this time whether Woods will make an appearance as DLC in PGA Tour 2K21 but more likely he’ll debut in the next title which could come later this year or next year.

    This is another big step for PGA Tour 2K, previously known as The Golf Club, in building a recognizable brand. Bringing on the PGA Tour, real-life courses, and actual golfers have helped in that regard in recent years. There’s no bigger splash that could have been made however than landing Tiger Woods.

  • Madden NFL 21 added to EA Play and Xbox Game Pass
    Posted March 2nd, 2021 at 12:45 pm No Comments

    Madden NFL 21 has been added to the EA Play subscription service on PlayStation and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on Xbox and PC. This is the first of the 2020 EA Sports games to be provided in full to subscribers and it includes all versions last-gen and next-gen.

    The timing this year was much later than has been the case in the past. The later releases of Madden on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X caused EA to pause the typical rollout prior to the Super Bowl and wait just about a month later to introduce the game to subscribers.

    EA Play, previously EA Access, launched on Xbox One in 2014 and finally on PlayStation 4 in 2019.  For $30 a year or $5 month-to-month, members get unlimited access to the back library of EA games on the console plus 10 hour trials with every EA game that begin five days before release and 10% savings on all digital purchases whether it be the actual games or microtransactions within them. In late 2020 EA Play rolled into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate which is arguably the best value in all of gaming retailing for $15 a month though deals are found often.

    Still to come are NHL 21 and FIFA 21 and they’ll likely find their way in sometime in April followed by EA Sports UFC 4 this summer.

  • Press Row Podcast: College Football is Back!
    Posted February 3rd, 2021 at 7:00 am No Comments

    EA Sports today announced that college football will be making a return to their portfolio of sports games. So that begs the questions like when will it arrive? What teams? What players? What history? Will there be a Dynasty Mode? Will there be Ultimate Team? Will it be a yearly release? We don’t have any of those answers definitively yet – but we take our best guess at them anyway while outlining expectations going forward.

    Check out the podcast through Apple Podcasts for iOS, on Android with the Stitcher app, or with Pocket Casts on iOS, Android, and Windows. The show can now also be found on Spotify! Subscribe and give the podcast five star reviews to help support the show. You can also listen with the streaming player found below.