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Electronic Arts buys Super Mega Baseball studio Metalhead Software

Super Mega Baseball 3
(Image credit: Metalhead)
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Super Mega Baseball 3, at first glance, does not look like an overly serious baseball sim: Players are comically proportioned, and teams aren't exactly a high-fidelity recreation of MLB lineups. But looks can be deceiving: We called Super Mega Baseball 2 "the best on-field baseball sim on PC" in our 88% review in 2018, and Super Mega Baseball 3 is even better.

The series is now in the hands of Electronic Arts, which announced today that it has acquired formerly indie developer Metalhead Software.

"We’re all players of Super Mega Baseball, and we’ve long admired the work of the Metalhead team," EA Sports GM Cam Weber said. "It’s a unique and beloved franchise among sports gamers—the balance and depth of gameplay, and the unique style of the content, makes it super fun to play with friends. We look forward to supporting and investing in the team so they can continue to build out more amazing games that delight sports fans around the world."

Weber told Polygon that the acquisition is part of a "deliberate growth strategy" for EA Sports that includes "re-establishing a presence in baseball, and looking at our options there." That doesn't mean that Electronic Arts is looking to turn Super Mega Baseball into an officially-licensed MLB game, however. 

"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," he said, although he allowed that SMB could "possibly" be used as the basis for a separate, officially licensed baseball game.

As for Metalhead, the studio said in a message on the Super Mega Baseball subreddit that it wanted to take on bigger projects with greater reach, and that Electronic Arts "is the perfect partner to help us achieve that goal."

"Our relationship with EA spawned over something that we hope you can relate to: they like our games," the studio said. "They like what we do and how we do it, which means that our studio will continue as Metalhead, with the same team, in the same city, building games in the same spirit we always have. Except now, with EA behind us, we’ll have access to additional technologies, a wealth of expertise, and a much broader audience. For us, this is also an incredible opportunity to grow our local Victoria team and tech sector with the support of EA, and let us dig into some ambitious new projects."

Moving on to the next project means that future Super Mega Baseball 3 updates will be smaller in scope, although a new update is in the works and details on that will be shared soon. And Metalhead emphasized that the SMB series will continue: "There is plenty more baseball on the horizon with the expansion of the Super Mega Baseball franchise, and maybe some other things down the line!" it said. "But we don’t have any specific details to share today. More to come in the future!"

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.