We’ve now hit the part of the game cycle where the 99 overall studs are being released and the salivation for all-time greats has begun. That’s why the vibe started changing once SDS announced that a Ken Griffey Jr. Program featuring a 99 overall card would drop on August 12. The Kid is synonymous with The Show at this point and remains one of the most popular players in MLB history. That popularity translates to Diamond Dynasty where Griffey Jr. is one of the most popular and hyped cards to drop in-game.
Despite the gameplay issues and non-existent communication from SDS on important matters, many of us expected this Griffey Jr. card to bandage the wounds of this game’s missteps. And then we saw the attributes.
Hello, Darkness My Old Friend…
The official MLB The Show Twitter account started hyping The Kid’s arrival with a trailer and several tweets. There was even a poll asking the most rhetorical question in history, probing the community to see if we wanted to see the card’s attributes early. This only led to the hype growing.
I was a bit pessimistic when I saw the card was going to be a 2nd Half Heroes card. We’ve definitely seen some really good 2nd Half cards, but that’s not what I was expecting a beefy Griffey Jr. to be. A Finest would be an absurdly powerful card, but there didn’t seem much chance SDS would release a free Finest Griffey Jr. after dropping the massive Andrew McCutchen collection. Still, it’s a Ken Griffey Jr. Program and it’s a 99 overall. It has to be one of the best cards in the game.
This is most certainly not one of the best cards in the game. Predictably, and with just cause, the DD community erupted on Twitter and the shaming began. Reply after reply underneath the card reveal railed against SDS and the card.
“What is this?”
“This is the Ken Griffey Jr. Program we’re getting?”
“This isn’t even better than cards we got a month ago!”
“How is this a 99 overall!?!?!?”
Content creators especially got in on the pummeling, with some even making videos that detailed the disappointment in the card. Let’s be honest here: any free content is always great. We’re getting free packs (including the newest Headliner featuring Ken Griffey Sr.) and another free 2nd Half card for collections. So the value here is as good as usual for these kinds of programs.
But this card is mediocre. Sure, Griffey Jr. has an amazing swing and his cards can play above attributes. But this is August. This is a 99 overall. With Madden and NBA 2K coming very soon, the DD community has been hoping that SDS unleashed some massive cards to maintain interest in The Show. This card failed on every front and many people were upset.
But, are we being played?
Nice Try, Ramone
I noticed some chatter amongst the community that the program progress didn’t seem to make sense during their grind. The percentage of program completion didn’t seem to represent where they were in the program path. I was mindlessly grinding through the program and didn’t originally notice this myself. But once I saw people asking questions I saw it myself. Once I wrapped up my final game where I unlocked Griffey Jr., my “Ken Griffey Jr. Program” progress showed 24%.
That doesn’t make sense. For all the bugs and issues in this game, I don’t think I recall ever seeing a program path have the incorrect completion percentage. But then again, this is the same company that didn’t acknowledge all the complaints about the Field of Dreams stadium having frame-rate issues until the day before its namesake program began.
Still, something definitely didn’t make sense. That’s when it stood out. Look at the beginning of the path. What do you see?
A “Coach Is Angry” icon and the “Nice Try Ramone” stadium sound. Interesting, no? Sure, they include random icons and stadium sounds in every program all year and no one bats an eye. But these would be the most random unlockables to include in a Griffey program.
Unless SDS is trolling us.
We’ve Been Hoodwinked, Bamboozled…
I think this is a stealth Evolution program drop by SDS, and they’re absolutely roasting the community with a Hall of Fame troll. What we got today was not the full Ken Griffey Jr. Program.
First, SDS didn’t flinch at any of the backlash and didn’t acknowledge it anywhere that I saw. They had to know there would be an outcry, and even for a company that has come across as disinterested in the community’s feedback, that would be brazen. The sheer arrogance it would take to release a fairly mediocre card of one of the most popular players in a small content drop would stop the DD world in its tracks. And at this point, I wouldn’t put it past SDS to do something like this.
But let’s put two and two together. Angry Coach and Nice Try Ramone. Ken Griffey Jr. Program progress showing 24% when 24 points are earned and Griffey is unlocked? This has all the trappings of a full Evolution program that runs to 100 points and we have previous experience to draw from.
Evolution Is A Mystery…
We’ve gotten Evolution programs in the past and I think that’s exactly what this is.
I don’t think the 2nd Half Griffey Jr. is the true reward from this program. I think this is simply part one of a multi-part program featuring The Kid that might actually lead to an elite Finest version after all. With this being released like any other program, there’s nothing from SDS to indicate that this is the case. But it makes too much sense when looking at this from a top-down view.
When I came to this conclusion, I was befuddled as to why they would do something like this. Surely they could announce an Evolution program for Griffey and everyone would be just as excited? Then again, we’re constantly questioning SDS on many issues, so perhaps that wouldn’t be good enough. I’m sure there would be plenty of voices lamenting the wait for Griffey Jr. and still threaten to leave for Madden and more.
But what if this is an example of ingenious marketing? By dropping this program that was dead on arrival, SDS would generate a ton of engagement and conversation. Videos would be made, streamers would spend hours questioning SDS’ sanity, and MLB The Show would be trending on Twitter.
That’s exactly what happened. Now imagine if SDS drops a surprise update the day Madden actually drops or sometime after. Another stage to the Griffey Jr. program where we get yet another version of The Kid, or perhaps cards of his former teammates on the way to Retro Finest Griffey Jr. SDS could easily expand the program to 100 points with one massive update, and not only would all of us eat crow, some might even be praising them for pulling one on us and giving us an elite card for free.
Keep in mind this is speculation on my part — I could be completely wrong. Perhaps I’m just grasping at straws from disappointment. But I think SDS just pulled off the troll of the century.