OverviewMLB Front Office Manager is a game published by 2K to compliment their popular 2K Sports line. It is a sports management simulation, where the player does not take direct control over players or games, and instead manages all the aspects of a organization that leads to games played on the field. While many games have taken this approach across all types of sport, this game was developed in response to the popularity of fantasy sports leagues.
One of the key features of the game is the involvement of Oakland Athletics general manager and minority owner, Billy Beane. He is notable for his management of the perennial low budget Athletics, while simultaneously developing winning teams with cheap talent. His shrewd wheeling and dealing have given him plenty of notoriety in baseball circles. Also involved in development was New York Yankees General Manager, Brian Cashman.
Game ModesMLB Front Office Manager offers to main modes of play: single player and online multiplayer.
Single PlayerLike most sports management simulations, MLB Front Office Manager, puts you in control of a team, with the ultimate goal of being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after a 30 year career. Your General Manager character is created via a series of pedestrian options (nationality, previous job, name), as well as various skill points that highlight particular aspects of business management the player wishes to exploit. These skills can be improved over the course of the game. The team a player chooses to manage will require specific goals from the player.
Once these options are chosen, the player is put in full control of the specific team they have chosen, including their minor league affiliates. New players can be drafted or acquired through trade and free agency, as well as through bidding wars for players in international leagues. While current players in Major League Baseball will be represented, anyone not a part of the MLB Player's Association will be represented by a fictional character.
A player's performance and value will be gauged by a series of statistics as monitored by The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR, pronoucned "saber"). These represent easily understood stats such as Home Run totals and Batting Averages, but also include more obscure stats such as OPS (onbase percentage plus slugging, a popular stat amongst fantasy baseball enthusiasts). Also, a particular player's historical stats will be taken into account, including such instances as batting percentage vs. a particular pitcher, how effective a particular pitcher is in late game innings, etc.
MLB Front Office Manager also boasts a 3D engine in which games will be played (although the player as GM has no direct control over the proceedings).
MultiplayerThe multiplayer mode allows for up to 30 players to compete in a fantasy like setting, vying for success versus the other 29 managers. Options include a fantasy draft and modified scoring. Popular fantasy baseball scoring systems, such as Rotisserie, head-to-head, and traditional can be used.