Major League Baseball 2K12 is widely expected to be in its walk year, the final season of a fat contract going back to 2005. Unlike a superstar in the big leagues, this is not a cause for optimism that fans will see an above-average performance. Not when the performer is the one paying the contract, and not when it has been notoriously inconsistent despite having the Xbox 360 all to itself.
But the intrigue involving 2K Sports parent Take-Two Interactive, whose chief executive inherited an expensive deal and has publicly called it a money loser, is a front-office drama that the players at 2K know they must tune out, the same as anyone in the dugout on a beleaguered club. They've focused on the areas in which they have done well, notably the game's best-in-class commentary and the shrewd ways they've created batter-pitcher matchups that run deep in the count and call on strategy from both participants. And they've tried to round off some of the rough edges of the previous edition, especially ones introduced with new fielding mechanics.