If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Take Two ties up baseball rights with new MLB deal

Publisher Take Two Interactive has announced further semi-exclusive signings in the baseball sector, with the company inking long-term deals with all of the key Major League Baseball licensing firms.

Publisher Take Two Interactive has announced further semi-exclusive signings in the baseball sector, with the company inking long-term deals with all of the key Major League Baseball licensing firms.

Coming a fortnight after the publisher announced a deal with the MLB Players' Association, the new arrangements cover MLB Properties and MLB Advanced Media, and give Take Two the rights to the brands of the clubs, ballparks and other marks of the league.

As with the MLBPA deal, the new arrangement gives Take Two exclusive rights among third party publishers only - so its titles will still face potential competition from Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo developed games - but a loophole identified by many analysts has been sealed up, with third party publishers prohibited from developing and releasing titles in partnership with the platform holders.

That effectively squeezes Electronic Arts out of the baseball market from 2006 onwards; the firm's MVP Baseball title is the most popular baseball game at present, with around 1.3 million unit sales last year, representing 61 per cent of the baseball market.

However, while it assures Take Two a continued strong presence in the sports game market, the scale of the deal still doesn't compare with EA's exclusive deal with the NFL - since the football game market was worth around $309 million in the USA alone last year, compared with $93 million in revenues from baseball games.

Take Two hopes to capitalise on the deal by introducing more products into the baseball space, and distributing them on a more frequent basis than previously - with a strong possibility that this means the firm will release new titles both for the start of the baseball leagues in spring, and for the busy holiday sales period which starts in mid-autumn.

Author

Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

More News

Latest Articles