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The Almighty Buck Games

Gamer Wins $1M For Pitching Virtual "Perfect Game" 142

A few months ago, 2K Sports announced a unique contest to promote a new game they were working on, Major League Baseball 2K10. They said whichever gamer was the first to pitch a perfect game and provide proof would win $1 million, with the contest running for two months. Reader yukk tips news that the two months have now passed, and 2K Sports has announced a winner. It turns out the prize was won on the very first day, by a player who had put less than an hour and a half of effort into it.
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Gamer Wins $1M For Pitching Virtual "Perfect Game"

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  • baseball? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mirix ( 1649853 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @05:20AM (#32123876)

    The most boring possible video game genre.

    Playing baseball - boring.
    Watching baseball - very boring.
    Playing a video game of baseball - even more boring.
    Watching someone play a video game of baseball - kill me now.

  • by Nialin ( 570647 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @05:23AM (#32123894)
    One of two things comes to mind:

    1) This game is far too easy for a $1million reward.
    2) Read # 1
  • by NewfieNerdGirl ( 910996 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @05:33AM (#32123952)
    But apparently they researched how long to keep the contest open AFTER getting their first winner in less than 24 hours. It would be interesting to know how many copies of the game they sold on Day 1 and how many they sold from Day 2 to when they actually announced they had a winner.
  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @05:49AM (#32124006)

    It could have been an hour and a half playing Major League Baseball 2K10 after having spent years with earlier-year versions of the game.

  • by dominious ( 1077089 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @05:52AM (#32124018)

    "The funny thing is I haven't even come close since then," McGilberry said. "There must have been something special about that day."

  • Having actually played the game, getting a perfect game is not easy.

    You have to get 27 straight outs. You get an out one of two ways: 1) you strike out the batter, or 2) the batter hits the ball and your defence gets the batter out. Complicating things further, it gets progressively harder to pitch accurately when your pitcher gets tired (after you hit about 80 pitches, you have less than half a second to complete the pitching gesture. After 100 pitches, good luck getting a good pitch off even if you pull off the gesture under a quarter of a second).

    So you have to weigh whether you want to focus on strike outs and risk getting your pitch count too high to handle, or you focus on trying to get the batter to hit into the defence and keep your pitch count low. If you try to pitch to hit, you risk having a ball just dribble by your infield or having a blooper drop in between your infield and outfield, ruining your game. Adding to the frustration is a buggy infield AI that sometimes allows soft liners through, or the first baseman running for a ball that should've been the second baseman's thus leaving first base empty.

    In any event, minus the buggy infield AI, the perfect game challenge highlighted something very important for MLB 2K10. When you're pitching, it is a pretty immersive experience. You really feel the pressure when you're delivering the pitch, and you have that split second of helplessness and frustration when the batter makes solid contact with the ball.

    Pitching is definitely the highlight of the game, and the reward did a pretty good job to draw attention to that. Although we can't speak to the financial success of the campaign without any sales stats, it was at least a success in the sense that it was effective in showcasing the strongest aspect of the game.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2010 @06:03AM (#32124072)
    You could probably actually sue them since (IANAL) they didn't make full disclosure about the details of their contest. If the knew someone had already won and didn't announce it just to drive more sales that smacks of fraud.
    I can't cite a specific statue, but I'm sure you could find one that would fit.
    Just a thought, you could probably get a partial refund of the game at the very least.
  • by Asmor ( 775910 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @06:06AM (#32124084) Homepage

    There was no $1 million prize. Not from the publisher's perspective, at least.

    They paid $1 million for marketing. Who they payed the $1 million to was irrelevant. The only difference here is that the money went to some schlub consumer instead of a marketing firm.

    Seems fairly disingenuous, but I don't even think I'd go so far as to call it unethical.

  • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @06:14AM (#32124110) Journal
    Yeah, I'm jealous too :-)
  • by OnlyJedi ( 709288 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @06:47AM (#32124258) Homepage

    Sounds a bit low to me. If he were a real major league pitcher, he would get paid nearly $1 million just for showing up to a game, even if he lost.

  • by boxwood ( 1742976 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @08:20AM (#32124786)

    ummmm they probably are happy because first they got some attention when they first announced the contest, a lot of people went out and bought the game so the could participate in the contest, and now they get a lot of articles written about the contest and the happy winner of the game. People reading those articles will think more positively about 2K Sports, and the baseball game. They aren't looking at it like they're giving away a million dollars, they're looking at it like they're paying a million dollars for a lot of good publicity.

    They could have spent that money on ads that most people would ignore. But instead the spent a million dollars on a contest which gets articles written about it on websites like slashdot and have people discussing it.

    What he's saying is that the good publicity they got was worth more to them than $1 millon.

  • by getSalled ( 1331585 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @10:47AM (#32126740)
    There have been 6 perfect games in the past 20 years in MLB. In those 20 years, there have been approximately 48,000 games -- so a 1/8000 chance of it happening since 1990.

    If you consider the entire history (or even the 130 years since the first one), there have only been 18. I have no numbers on the total number of games played in that time span, but I would venture to say the chances are much worse than 1/8000.

    You could probably assume that the 2K10 players themselves were doing whatever they could to increase their chances as well (like a Yankees v Nationals matchup). If 2K Sports really wanted surge in sales, they should've offered $10M for a perfect game against the Yankees.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.