Every successful video game that releases and does even better sales-wise eventually makes the jump from a singular video game to the beginning of a new franchise. But every game that releases as a part of a franchise isn’t going to be a guaranteed hit/ For every big franchise there are two or three that no longer exist. A perfect example of this would be Resident Evil and Parasite Eve. One is thriving and riding higher than ever with Village due out in May while Parasite Eve hasn’t seen a new entry since The 3rd Birthday well over a decade ago. So, enough with the ramble, here are the dead franchises we still cling to.
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MVP Baseball (2003-2007)
In 2004 after going to a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game at Coney Island there were two things on mind: baseball, and the looming presence of the defunct Coney Island Parachute Jump. I hadn’t hit my growth spurt yet and I was very low to the ground and the Parachute Jump was the tallest thing I had seen in my life so far. On the way home from the game I went to blockbuster to rent a game and I rented a game called ‘All-Star Baseball 2004‘ and I had a good time. I had called my dad and asked him if he could stop by GameStop on his way home from work and buy All-Star Baseball 2004 because I was ten years old and child labor laws prevented me from Ron Swanson-ing my way to the top.
By the time he had gotten home, he told me that they didn’t have that game at GameStop. but they recommended a different baseball videogame: MVP Baseball 2003. So let me just break down the differences between the two games just from the boxart and publisher. All-Star Baseball 2004 had Derek Jeter on the cover and was developed and published by Acclaim (pour one out), while MVP Baseball 2003 had Randy Johnson on the cover and the game was developed and published by Electronic Arts. I played the game and I fell in love. Simply put it was the gateway into my love of baseball and baseball games.
I eventually bought MVP Baseball 2004 which featured Albert Pujols on the cover and that installment, in particular, I have extremely vivid memories of. Everything from the soundtrack, to the menu, and gameplay had me won over. A feature seen in those games that have gone the way of the dodo in modern baseball games is manager ejections. It also re-introduced me to the farm team system in Major League Baseball. Ironically I had only spent a few hours with the last “real” entry in the MVP Baseball series, that being the third iteration in 2005. It was foreshadowing as I had gotten into the 989 Sports baseball games that would eventually become the MLB The Show franchise. Without a shadow of a doubt, the MVP Baseball games are the closest to perfection. It has taken a while but some of the features in MVP Baseball 2005 are just now finding their way to MLB The Show series such as moving your team, stadium creator, and more. As much as MLB The Show continues to be excellent and relevant, I will always hold a special place in my heart for MVP Baseball.