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Volume 24 No. 216
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Indians' Francisco Lindor To Appear On Cover Of Latest Version Of "RBI Baseball"

MLBAM has named Indians SS Francisco Lindor as the cover athlete for the upcoming “RBI Baseball 18,” highlighting a significant overhaul of the ongoing revival of the classic ‘80s and early ‘90s video game franchise. This year’s version includes improved graphics that more accurately depict player faces, body types and uniform preferences as well as individual ballparks. There also is the inclusion of licensed music for the first time and a new franchise mode featuring more than 100 MLB legends, including Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Tom Seaver and Ernie Banks. MLBAM execs, now in their fifth season producing a new version of the game, said they have not abandoned the roots of the title as a more casual game and do not plan to mimic the more simulation-based “MLB: The Show” produced by Sony Interactive Entertainment. “‘RBI’ still has the same feel and lightness to it, but now with more polish and finish to it,” said MLBAM VP/Games & VR Strategy Jamie Leece. “We’ve listened a lot to user requests, and sought to be very responsive to that, particularly with the franchise mode that was a frequent ask over the years.” The announcement of Lindor as the game's cover athlete was made over the weekend at the Indians’ TribeFest. This year’s game also involved a completely internal development process by MLBAM, as opposed to prior seasons in which baseball’s digital arm outsourced some work on the title to external studios. Some of the improved graphics in “RBI Baseball 18” are due to ongoing work MLB is doing in VR. “There’s been some carryover from that, but this is also the result of a commitment of a lot more resources behind this,” Leece said.