Last year, 2K Sports drew a whole lot of attention to its annual baseball game, Major League Baseball 2K10, by offering a $1 million cash prize to the first person who could throw a perfect game in the game. The promotion was so successful -- not only did the contest work as a smart bit of advertising for MLB 2K10, but it became one of the feel-good gaming stories of the year when 24-year-old Alabama gamer Wade McGilberry won the money and a trip to New York City -- that 2K Sports is bringing back the contest for MLB 2K11, albeit with a few tweaks to the rules that will only increase the competition.
McGilberry accomplished the feat on the game's launch date, in a spring training stadium with spring training rosters. This time around, 2K is giving players a chance to practice their pitching to achieve perfection: the game will be out on March 8th, but the contest period won't begin until April 1st, the day after Opening Day of the 2011 baseball season. That way, gamers will be playing inside real MLB stadiums with Opening Day lineups and pitching rotations.
2K is also dropping the minimum age for entrants to 13 from 18. According to 2K Sports' marketing director, Chris Snyder, this change was inspired by the teenage son of MLB 2K11's cover athlete, Roy Halladay:
Last year, Halladay's son, who is about 13-years-old [sic], was telling us about how he was going for the perfect game and had it through seven innings. We were listening to him, but at the same time we were cringing a bit because the rules last year stated that you had to be 18-years-old [sic] to win the million dollars. [...] We took this directly from Roy's kid and wanted more people to have the chance to go for the perfect game this year.
All of the other regulations from last year's competition, including the requirement to videotape yourself playing the game, remain in place. Who's going to give it a shot in MLB 2K11?