Out of the Park Developments announced on Friday, January 23 a major milestone in the history of its venerable Out of the Park Baseball franchise: The inclusion of official MLB.com and Minor League Baseball licenses in version 16, which will ship in March. OOTP 16 will feature official league logos, team logos and jerseys for all 30 MLB teams, over 150 MiLB team logos, and historical MLB logos.
The company’s iOS game, iOOTP Baseball, will be renamed MLB Manager and will be available for Android too this year. It will also feature official MLB.com and MiLB licenses. More information, including its other new features, will be released in the coming weeks.
“We’re thrilled to be working with MLB Advanced Media to provide a feature that many of our fans have requested,” said lead developer and lifelong baseball fan Markus Heinsohn. “This promises to be the biggest year in the history of OOTP, and the best is yet to come.”
The special pre-order price lasts through 11:59 p.m. pacific time on February 15, 2015. Everyone who pre-orders by then will be automatically entered in a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of three $500 MLB.com Shop gift certificates (or $500 Amazon gift cards).
Everyone who pre-orders will also receive the game three days before its release in March. They’ll also get a free Steam key. All pre-orders after February 15 will still be eligible for the free Steam key and the chance to download OOTP 16 three days early.
OOTP 16’s full list of new and improved features include:
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.
• 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.
• A new 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.