World Series Major League® Baseball

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [#4537]

Release 1983

Design/Program: Eddie Dombrower

Voice Implementation: Steve Ettinger

Voice Processing: Mattel Speech Lab

Music/Sound Effects: David Warhohl


CATALOG DESCRIPTION

It's just like playing baseball in front of national TV! The TV cameras catch different angles of the game. Pan across the playing field. Even pick up the baserunners on a split screen. Be the manager by programming in batting and pitching statistics for your team. Program Hall of Famers to play against each other. Imagine Fernando Valenzuela pitching against Babe Ruth! Truly the next generation of video games.

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY

Major League Baseball launched the Intellivision; Marketing hoped a super-Baseball cartridge would do the same for the Entertainment Computer System. This was to be the most complex Intellivision game yet, using both the ECS and Intellivoice.

Programming started as a team effort of Ken Elinger and Eddie Dombrower, but it quickly became a solo effort of Eddie's.

The results were spectacular. Eddie designed the screen views as if the game were being covered by multiple television cameras there were even insert shots appearing in the corners.

And the gameplay, based on real ball player statistics, was beyond any other video game sports cartridge.

Unfortunately, by the time the game was released, Mattel Electronics management had changed and the ECS had dropped to a low marketing priority. The system - and the game - received little support. Few people ever saw the game.

Ten years later, a new generation of "virtual reality" baseball games hit the computer market. Reviewers raved about their multiple-TV-camera viewpoints and statistics-based game play, features World Series Major League Baseball pioneered in 1983.

FUN FACT: Eddie Dombrower used historic and current ballplayers' names and stats to create the players in his game. The original marketing even advertised this, as in the catalog description above. But at the last minute, the legal department told him he couldn't use the real names. So Eddie changed their last names to those of the Mattel Electronics programmers. The first names - nicknames - are inside jokes about the programmers. (He slipped in a few personal references, too, including Paul Jule, his brother's first and middle names, and Joe "Pug" Menosky, his best friend from college.) The stats, though, are still those of the real players. Any true baseball fan can look at the stats and tell who the players are.

FUN FACT: Steve Ettinger continually annoyed Lynn [Lilliedahl] Fordham by calling her "Babe." Finally, one day she turned on him and said, "That's MS. Babe to you." So for the game a player was named Babe Lilliedahl. The legal department, though, made Eddie take it out - they wouldn't allow any of the NICKNAMES to be those of real ballplayers.

NOT-SO-FUN FACT: This may have been the first integrated video game - Eddie had designed the animated players to be black or white depending on the real players they were based on. When the names were changed to those of the programmers, he left the skin colors as they were. At least one programmer, though, came to Eddie and asked for "his" skin color to be changed, not wanting to be black in the game.