In an effort to make the best of a bad situation, Take-Two Interactive is renaming its last ESPN-licensed game to remove the network affiliation from the title. Once called ESPN Major League Baseball 2K5
, the game will now simply be titled Major League Baseball 2K5
The move is purely voluntary on Take-Two's part, since Electronic Arts' exclusive claim
to the ESPN license doesn't begin until next year's sports games debut. However, given that the deal between EA and ESPN has already occurred, Take-Two may have simply decided not to give EA's new sports brand another year of free advertising by continuing with the name. Despite the change in title, all ESPN content such as broadcaster presence and "look and feel" of the ESPN shows will still be present in the game.
Major League Baseball 2K5
is set for release on March 15th, with reworked cover art to remove the ESPN logo. Derek Jeter will be the cover athlete, a decision reached in Take-Two's recent negotiations with the MLB for exclusive use of the MLB license among third-party developers.