Monday Mar 28, 2011
Perhaps you’ve already had a chance to take part in either our closed beta or the current open beta, but if you haven’t, I’m very excited to get to share with you an upcoming game from SEGA: MLB Manager Online, debuting this March 31st — that’s just a few days away!
MLB Manager Online is a browser based Manager/Sim game, fully licensed with all real teams & players from Major League Baseball. Think of it as a cross between a fantasy league and a managerial simulation (like Football Manager), only with the ability to train and improve your players.
The core of the game is built around drawing player cards and setting your team lineup and pitching rotation. Once you do that, you can get as in-depth as you want. SEGA had an internal beta test months ago and since then I’ve seen players of all levels get involved, from casual to hard-core.
Create and fine-tune your team in any number of ways: You can emphasize a strong defense and speedy base swappers, or you can build an offensive powerhouse. Build a strong starting rotation or pour your resources into a deep bullpen and trade for the players you need to fill in the gaps — with every available player and a host of stats, the game is designed to let you find multiple ways to win.
Certainly a casual baseball or sports fan can plug themselves in and wield a team. I would not describe myself as a “casual fan,” however, and for me, baseball has that easy romantic feeling that leads to long descriptions of the smell of grass in Spring and the sounds of a game over the radio. That same easy romantic feeling has also led me to exploring this game since its early beta stages, and I’m happy to give you a preview of how the game works and what you have to look forward to:
This game is totally 100% free to play, and you play in your web browser. It will be supported by Micro-transactions (small individual payments made for specific services), and while I can’t discuss details of these until they’re finalized and in-game, I’m very happy with what I’ve seen so far. No one wants a game to be unbalanced so that whoever spends the most will always win – what fun is that? You can compete in this game if you’re smart (and a little lucky), and if you’re willing to spend a little bit of coin, what you get is a chance to improve your team. The best part about this? It feels like you still have to be a skillful manager to use what you buy in a strategic way; you can’t just dump money into this game and have it reward you.
Games themselves can be fast-simmed – at a few seconds per game – so if you missed a few days of action you can catch up. You can also, of course, watch each game unfold, live, in a flash-animated simulation that you can fast-forward or rewind through at will. Seeing your hand-picked players mount a stirring comeback or hold a lead in a tight game is one of the most rewarding parts of playing.
This brand new game will be available on Opening Day for this year’s 2011 Season — the same day my beloved San Francisco Giants begin the defense of their World Series, you will have the opportunity to join the game and create your team. Look for more information on this game soon, and get ready to play ball!
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