EA Sports deals for ‘Super Mega Baseball’ studio

EA Sports has made an acquisition that gets it back into baseball video games.

The sports game division of Electronic Arts is adding to its lineup Metalhead Software, a Victoria, British Columbia, studio that makes Super Mega Baseball video games. 

“Super Mega Baseball 3,” released in March 2020, has an arcade look, but “it’s a really well-made game,” EA Sports executive vice president and general manager Cam Weber told USA TODAY. “It’s unique. It plays like a simulation under the hood. … It’s accessible and fun the moment you pick up and play it, but it also has the depth to keep playing it a really long time.”

One of the largest video game publishers in the U.S., EA posted revenue of $5.5 billion in fiscal year 2020. Talks with Metalhead co-founders Scott Drader and Christian Zuger, who started the company in 2009, began last summer, Weber said.

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EA Sports bolsters baseball game

This just the latest move by EA Sports to expand its video game portfolio. In February, the Madden NFL Football and FIFA maker acquired U.K.-based Codemasters, which makes F1 Racing games in a $1.2 billion deal. Also that month, EA Sports got mobile game publisher Glu Mobile in a deal valued at $2.1 billion.

Glu Mobile’s games include “Design Home,” “Covet Fashion,” and “MLB Tap Sports Baseball.”

This doubleheader of baseball deals “allows us to get back into the baseball space in a way that is different and differentiated from like a core sim like MLB the Show,” Weber said.

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EA Sports made Triple Play baseball games from 1995 to 2002 and then in 2003, changed the name to MVP Baseball, which ran to 2005. But an exclusive licensing deal between Major League Baseball and Take-Two Interactive led to EA Sports bowing out of pro baseball simulations.

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“You bring in ‘MLB Tap Sports Baseball,’ which his a really high performing game in the mobile space. and then you bring in a differentiated ‘Super Mega Baseball’ that is a different take on a sports game and that is a unique way to reach a different type of sports fan,” Weber said.

EA Sports recently announced plans to bring back its college football video game. And in March, EA Sports revealed that a new PGA Tour game is in the works. 

“We are in growth mode at EA Sports,” Weber said. “We did set out on a growth strategy to expand our reach … to also build more sports games, to be in more sports, to appeal to more types of sports fans (and) to get to more geographies and more platforms.”

There’s been other activity in baseball video games. “MLB The Show 21,” developed by Sony San Diego Studios, is available this year on Xbox consoles for the first time.

Looking ahead, EA Sports and Metalhead might expand on baseball games – and possibly other “Super Mega” sports titles, Weber said. “I think there is an opportunity to explore with the Metalhead team where we want to go in the future,” he said. “Do we want licensing do we want no licensing. I also there’s an opportunity to apply the model to other sports.”

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Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.


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