MVP Baseball is a baseball game series published by EA Sports. In 2003, it became the official successor to EA's long-running Triple Play Baseball; however, it bore little more than a graphical similarity to that series, which had been much maligned in its final years.
Until 2005, the game featured all players in the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), as well as fictionalized counterparts for players who are not in the union, such as Jon Dowd in place of Barry Bonds. In an interesting note, John M. Dowd happens to be the name of the prosecutor during Pete Rose's trial for betting on baseball, which led to his banning, ironic in the light of Bonds' recent problems.MVP Baseball 2004 featured a unique addition to any baseball game, allowing users to play as the Minor League affiliations of Major League teams, a feature that was expanded in the following year. The game featured Randy Johnson, Miguel Tejada, Albert Pujols, and Manny Ramírez on its cover. Of those four, Tejada and Pujols have won Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards during their careers, and the other two have been named MVPs of a post-season series.
In 2005, in response to EA Sports' exclusive license with the National Football League and ESPN, Take-Two Interactive signed an exclusive third-party licensing contract with Major League Baseball (MLB), MLBPA and MLBAM to produce MLB games. The agreement, which runs from Spring 2006 to 2012, allows for the console manufacturers Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to produce MLB titles for their respective platforms, but bars third party developers such as EA Sports from continuing or developing their own MLB games. As a result, the MVP Baseball series now features college baseball, with MVP 06 NCAA Baseball having been released in late January 2006, and MVP 07 NCAA Baseball in February of 2007.
Upon its release in 2003, one of the game's most inventive aspects was its pitch/throw meter. Until then, most baseball games' pitching schemes required players simply to press the button corresponding to the pitch they wanted to throw, and hold the button down for a certain length of time to determine how hard the pitch was thrown. In MVP Baseball, the player first holds down the pitch button (or throw button) to judge the power; once the desired power level is attained, the player must release the button and attempt to tap the same button within a target area. The closer the player gets to the target area, the more accurate the pitch or throw will be. While innovative within the field of baseball games, EA in fact adapted this feature from golf games, which often feature a meter to determine the power and accuracy of shots (ironically, golf games largely abandoned shot meters around the time that MVP Baseball introduced it).
Like all recent EA Sports games, the soundtrack to each MVP Baseball title contains licensed songs, called EA Trax. The MVP Baseball series typically featured alternative rock, ranging from mainstream artists like Sum 41 to indie acts like stellastarr*. The games featured several minor hits before they became popular such as C'mon C'mon by The Von Bondies which is also used as the theme song for the TV show Rescue Me; and We Got The Noise by The Donots.
- http://www.mvpmods.com/ MVP Baseball Modding Community