ESPN Baseball Tonight
Date added: 2014-09-30
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ESPN Baseball Tonight is a baseball video game for the PC, Super NES, Sega Genesis, and Sega CD.
The game was licensed by MLB, but not by the Players Association, so while actual team names and logos are used, no player names are in the game.
The lead programmers for the project were Alexander Ehrath and Russel Shanks. The game's simulation engine was written from scratch by the two lead programmers. The game featured video clips of Chris Berman and play-by-play audio from Dan Patrick.
Little Caesars Enterprises, Inc. got involved with the development of the game, seeing marketing synergy between baseball fans and pizza eaters. A large promotion was rolled out by the pizza chain to coincide with the game's launch, including point-of-purchase material at 4,500 stores; a mail-in offer for an ESPN "Best of Sports" videotape; and print advertising. The director of marketing for Sony called what Little Caesars received "a new method to reach families and men, 18-34, in a nontraditional, nonintrusive way." The stadium walls in-game featured large Little Caesars advertising.
The PC version was one of the early games to be made available solely on CD-ROM. In addition to the single game, season and playoff modes, there is also a Home Run Derby mode that evaluates the player's final score from ballerina (with a 0% accuracy rate) to hall of famer (with an accuracy rate of 95%-100%) depending on the number of home runs successfully completed.
It was the first in a series of ESPN-themed sports games. The next to be released was ESPN Sunday Night NFL.