EA has purchased Super Mega Baseball developer Metalhead Software. The two companies will combine to grow Metalhead’s Super Mega Baseball franchise, marking EA’s first venture back into the realm of Major League Baseball since losing the rights to 2K in 2005. EA last published MVP 07: NCAA Baseball in 2007.
Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, so it remains to be seen how much money EA spent on the acquisition.
The Super Mega Baseball franchise began with 2014’s first game, garnering high praise for its easy to learn controls and difficulty options. Super Mega Baseball 3, released in May 2020, similarly features an unlicensed take on baseball that isn’t as deep as MLB The Show, but is nonetheless fun and interesting to play. Despite the cartoonish avatars of baseball players, the series is less NFL Blitz and more accessible simulation, but doesn’t feature any actual licensed MLB teams or products.
EA has been busy acquiring multiple studios known for their work in sports games. EA acquired Dirt series developer Codemasters for $1.2 billion in early 2021, acknowledging plans to release a new racing game every year. Codemasters also owns the Project cars and GRID franchises. EA Sports previously announced its return to developing officially licensed NCAA football games for the first time since 2013.
“We put together a deliberate growth strategy for EA Sports that includes getting into a number of new sports that we haven’t been in, in a while, and placing our bets in certain places,” Cam Weber, senior vice president in charge of EA Sports, told Polygon. “One of those things was re-establishing a presence in baseball, and looking at our options there.”
If you’re wondering what EA’s involvement means for future installments of Super Mega Baseball, Weber says the publisher intends on keeping the goofy aesthetic and sense of humor.
“My belief is that Super Mega Baseball is well differentiated from MLB The Show, and I think it has its own spot in the marketplace,” Weber told Polygon.
As for official MLB licensing, things are still up in the air. Weber told Polygon that Super Mega Baseball may “possibly” become the basis for other MLB-licensed games, but declined to comment on further specifics.
“Obviously, we’re just completing the acquisition this week,” Weber told Polygon. “We’re going to sit down together and map out the future, and map out what we can do to expand and build up. I would like to build out Super Mega Baseball, at depth, and kind of fully realize what the team’s vision is for the game. And then, like I said, we will explore other sports as well and grow the studio. I think when it comes to licensing, we will look at what — for each individual game they work on, including Super Mega Baseball — we will look at what’s the best path forward to realize the vision.”
EA also acquired Glu Mobile, makers of the mobile game TapSports Baseball ‘20 (among others) in early 2021 for $2.1 billion, making it one of the most expensive acquisitions in games industry history. Weber says that porting the Super Mega Baseball experience to mobile is not in EA’s short-term plans.
EA is currently working on a new next-gen PGA Tour game, saying that more news is coming in the near future.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/pinch-hitter for IGN.