Is the RBI Baseball Series Dead? - TheFamicast.com: Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!

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Saturday, January 15, 2022

Is the RBI Baseball Series Dead?

Since 2014, the RBI Baseball series has been a staple MLB release on a number of different consoles. in more recent years on the Xbox consoles and Switch. For better or worse. While the series has been panned by outlets for a myriad of reason, I honestly felt that the games did seem to get better with every release. RBI 21 introduced a number of different quality of life updates including the play-by-play commentary, progressive time of day and the ability to create your own player. Even with all of that said, it’s looking like the RBI Baseball series might be going back to its grave. I usually don’t make articles like this, but there are a few pieces of evidence that kind of point to this. Of course, I may very well be wrong. Regardless, let’s take a look.

Lack of Updates on Social
Looking at the past few years of RBI Baseball tweets, you can see some pretty consistent posts even during the offseason. Whether it be tweets talking about players, roster updates, sales or hints at the next year’s game, there has usually been something going on there. After checking it recently, though, the last update was on October 26, 2021. Nothing about any holiday sales on RBI 21 or anything. Which leads me to my next point…

RBI Website Is Gone
I was curious to find out what was going on, so I tried to go to the RBI baseball website. It’s no longer listed on their Twitter account, so I took to Google only to find…well, links to reviews and videos. After finally tracking down the URL (https://www.mlb.com/rbi-game), I entered that into my browser and then…I was redirected to the MLB website. No explanation or anything. 

Avoid Direct Competition
Maybe this is a weird way to phrase this, but back when RBI was reborn in 2014, MLB The Show was ONLY available on the PlayStation. From 2021, that was no longer the case as the game not only appeared on Xbox, but was also part of GamePass. Even if you go back to 2019 when we learned that the series would be coming to non-Sony platforms, even Nintendo of America tweeted out at the MLB The Show account. Of course, as of right now, nothing has really happened there, but there is a strong possibility that the series will eventually come to the Switch. With the trajectory that RBI has taken over the past few years, becoming more and more realistic (especially when compared to the almost cartoony RBI 2017), it would almost seem silly to have two MLB properties that are somewhat similar to continue to compete with each other. 

Other Options
Even if RBI Baseball is dead (again), I don’t think that closes the door on the series entirely. With the current engine for RBI, I really don’t think there is much more the developers could do that they haven’t already achieved. If MLBAM (Advanced Media) wants to offer some kind of arcade like version of baseball, why not team up with either Konami (Power Pros) or Bandai Namco (the guys who made the ORIGINAL RBI Baseball aka Family Stadium)? Even with Power Pros, the game is quite realistic in terms of gameplay, but the visual style might be appealing to those that aren’t looking for a hardcore sim. Alternatively, the Family Stadium Series has seen two releases on the Nintendo Switch with very arcade-like experiences. It wouldn’t be easy for either of these options to happen, but it would definitely give MLB fans a unique way to experience the sport that they love. 

But let’s turn things over to you guys. Do you think the RBI Baseball series is dead? Am I off base here with anything? What do you think about the RBI series in general? Favorite game in the series? For the record, I’ve really turned around on the series since RBI 20 and was glad to see how the game progressed. At any rate, sound off in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you. 
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