As per the OOTP Developments Blog update, there has been a major licensing announcement.
Note: Sections of this press release are direct excerpts from the OOTP Newsletter entry.
The 16th edition in the year 2015 will include all the branding from Major League Baseball Advanced Media. This association includes MLB.com and MiLB (Minor League Baseball). OOTP 16 will have AL, NL, and MLB logos, as well as logos for all MLB and MiLB teams, all MiLB leagues, and even all historical MLB teams.
Markus Heinsohn (Lead Developer) Offers His Thoughts
Statements from the lead developer of OOTP 16 describe the journey to achieved the MLB license.
“Getting OOTP officially licensed has been in the back of my mind for a long time,” he told me. “MLB.com has always known about us, and every so often they’d inquire about us getting a license, but it always seemed so daunting. We’re not a major game developer, with our own legal department and things like that.”
He continued: “However, sales of OOTP have steadily grown the past few years, and we’ve gotten to the point where I could finally ask, ‘Well, what’s involved in getting a license?’ without fearing the dollar amount they would reply with.
“As it turns out, they had pretty reasonable terms, and they were easy to work with, so one thing led to another last year. By the fall of 2014 we were hammering out a contract, and over the winter we’ve worked with them closely to get approvals for our initial round of marketing and PR, including the pre-order newsletter, the press release, the OOTP 16 logo, and other things.”
Just before he told me he had to return to work, he added: “We’re also considering doing more around OOTP 16, depending on how the pre-orders shape up. That could include a bigger advertising push than we’ve ever done before, so we can reach more baseball fans who would love to run their own teams. We’ll see how it goes.”
Features of the new OOTP 16 as per their Newsletter
2015 Opening Day Rosters
Brand new 2015 roster sets include all Opening Day MLB rosters, 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 are carefully rated by hand by our established research team.
Will San Diego’s offseason frenzy pay dividends? Is this finally the year the Blue Jays return to the top of the American League East? Find out for yourself!
New International and Independent Leagues Added
Last year, we introduced 7 international leagues in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Cuba, Italy and The Netherlands. This year, we added the Australian Baseball League to that list, along with several independent leagues in the US and Japan. All of those leagues feature real rosters, of course, with countless hours of work invested in researching realistic bio info, statistics and ratings for thousands of real players.
New Team Owner Goals
Real-life GMs may not want smarter owners, but we think you’ll appreciate your new team owner, who won’t just tell you to go out there and win as many games as you can. Now he’ll give you short- and long-term goals, which may include: winning the World Series within X seasons; fixing a certain weakness on your roster; extending the contract of a star player; and much more. Your ability to meet those goals not only decides if you’ll be fired but also determines if your contract will be extended at a higher salary, which is another new feature this year.
Improved Team Finances and Reporting
We have redesigned large chunks of the team finance system, including new season ticket sales, a team finances screen based on widgets, a new accounting screen, and much more. You’ll be better at the money-related part of your job than ever before. On top of that, we have recoded and improved the entire AI related to finances, resulting inmore realistic player contracts and negotiations and more stable long-term team finances.
Completely Redesigned Manager and Coaches System
One of our favorite new features this year is the redesigned coaching model. Managers and coaches now have certain personalities and special skills or preferences, which will result in plenty of interesting choices. Do you want the manager of your team (if you decide to play GM-only) to be an easy-going stathead, or do you need a veteran hard-nosed manager who is able to cope with the disgruntled players in the clubhouse? Do you want a pitching coach who is an expert in working with power pitchers, or is your staff based more on control artists who could benefit from a coach who knows how to work with finesse pitchers?
Recoded Team Strategy System
You spoke and we listened: We agreed that setting your team’s in-game strategy was a tedious task, so we’ve completely redesigned that part of the game. Now you can quickly set your preferred strategies and move on to more important matters. Beware, though: If you play GM-only, you’ll find that some managers won’t let you dictate certain strategies.
Better Playoff Coverage
The race for playoff berths is the most exciting part of every baseball season, so we added a new Pennant Chase screen that displays the strength of the remaining schedule and the chance for each team to make the playoffs. We also improved the related news coverage. Who will win it all?
Improved 3D Ball Flight
Last year we 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 includes great-looking 3D models of all 30 MLB ballparks.
Of course, that’s not all. Every year we offer many smaller features, and OOTP 16 is no exception. It includes:
- New play modes (Manager only, GM only, and GM + Manager), so you can decide exactly how you’d like to run your team
- An improved simulation engine that incorporates the latest research and trends, such as infield shifts and pitcher usage
- Rainouts with automatic rescheduling, adding the realism that comes with rain-shortened and cancelled games. Is your bullpen strong enough to handle those late-season double-headers?
- Better in-game sound
- 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 great new Find-A-Player feature: Define certain criteria (ratings, stats, salary etc.) and find exactly the player you were looking for
- Recoded All-Star Game features with real voting (including online league support)
- Realistic OOTP Hall of Fame selection process, including simulated voting andnew stats like JAWS, HoF Standards, Black & Grey Ink Tests
- More player awards, for example Most Valuable Player, Playoff Series MVPs, best hitters by position and Reliever of the Year
- 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
GM Games NOTE: We do not receive any royalties or affiliation from the sales of pre-orders or sales on Steam. This is for your reference.
OOTP 16 offers many other new features, and you can pre-order it now through February 15 for just $34.99!
Before we get to all the features, here are the pre-order details:
- Now through February 15, pre-order OOTP 16 for the special price of $34.99 and earn an entry in our best sweepstakes yet.*
- Three winners will each receive a $500 MLB.com Shop gift certificate, which can be redeemed without limitation, for example jerseys, caps, books, DVDs, and much more!** (You may also opt for a $500 Amazon gift card.)
- You’ll receive an additional free Steam key after release of the game.***
- Get the game three days before its official March release!
We won’t be done with the giveaways after the price goes to $39.99 on February 16, though. Everyone who pre-orders between February 16th and three days before the official release in March will still receive a free OOTP 16 Steam key and get the game three days early.***
For the original Newsletter and Blog entry, it can be seen by going to: http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/newsletters/nl0154/