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MLB The Show 19 Sets New Gold Standard for Content

MLB The Show 19

MLB The Show 19 Sets New Gold Standard for Content

In the ever-changing landscape of traditional gaming where “always online” modes have become the new normal, MLB The Show 19 has set a new gold standard for product consumption.

It’s true, in the past you would be the content creator. It would fall upon your shoulders to create immersive experiences catered to your own wants and desires amid a video game’s ecosystem. Those experiences would come in the form of custom rosters, historical rosters, full-scale minor league rosters, deep, well-aged franchise files, create-a-player modes and so on.

While admittedly, even I was reluctant to pivot away from these conventional modes, MLB The Show has made it almost impossible to stay away for more than three or four days, and the developers seemingly pump out a new reason for users to jump back in every day or so.

The evolution of team-building modes is still a work in progress. When EA Sports pushed out FIFA Ultimate Team in FIFA 09, only one million users adopted the idea. This was partly to do with its radical and revolutionary ideas at the time, but also because it was a pay-to-play DLC. Now, a decade later, 83 percent of FIFA owners play Ultimate Team mode. That’s roughly 22 million players.

MLB The Show’s Diamond Dynasty hasn’t quite reached those heights just yet, but if content and playability are any indicators of future success, it’s well on its way to competing.

San Diego Studio pumped out this year’s game almost four months ago. In that time, the game has seen six major roster updates, as well as the addition of over 100 new cards. The team at San Diego Studio has pumped out over 60 new Signature Series cards alone.

According to Nick Livingston, prior to launch, MLB The Show 19 was striving to “create an environment where there was endless lineup varieties all year long.”

That has certainly been the case. MLB The Show 18 ran into the issue of stagnation by only releasing a select few Immortal cards, and those cards were end-game cards for any and all users. Flash forward a year and the bevy of lineup options out there is tangible for anyone who plays Diamond Dynasty on a regular basis.

So how are they doing it?

Well, for starters, it feels like the developers are finding any old reason whatsoever to pump out cards. Just this week, the team pushed out new cards packs for the MLB All-Star Game. Last week, they released 11 new Signature Series cards all at once, and then tacked on an additional three Signature Series cards in those Diamond Choice packs before the end of the week.

Not only are the developers succeeding in pumping out content, they’re providing the user an innumerable number of ways to earn these cards. Here are just a few ways to earn exclusive diamond cards in Diamond Dynasty.

  • Reaching Pennant Race in Ranked Seasons
  • Reaching World Series in Ranked Seasons
  • Winning 12 games in a Battle Royale run
  • Going 12-0 in a Battle Royale run
  • Reaching XP checkpoints in your universal profile
  • Reaching Inning Stars checkpoints each season
  • Playing Events
  • Playing Conquest
  • Buying reasonable, affordable Headliner Packs
  • Buying reasonably affordable Diamond Choice packs (compared to value of contents)
  • Completing Moments
  • Completing Topps Now Moments
  • Completing #SonyPartners Moments

The myriad ways to unlock elite playable cards in MLB The Show 19 is breathtaking. The list compiled above is not a complete look at how to unlock these cards, but a snapshot.

Now, this article is not going to focus on pay-to-win or pay-to-play features within Diamond Dynasty, but it has to be mentioned that San Diego Studio also made the groundbreaking decision to make most cards sellable in the game this year. It allows anyone and everyone to get their hands on most of the cards they covet. This, coupled with regular Stubs sales, is creating a much more accessible experience for players.

It should also be mentioned that MLB The Show 18 rather famously slowed its content train after June in last year’s iteration of the game. The cards stopped flowing and the user base began to fall off. If social media and community outreach are any indication, San Diego Studio has no intention of slowing the momentum any time soon.

The game is yet to feature some of its most marketable Signature Series cards just yet — four months into its cycle. Signature Series cards like Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Trout, Bob Gibson, Albert Pujols, Troy Tulowitzki and Chipper Jones are yet to see the light of day. When those cards are announced and released, likely as Inning Bosses in most cases, fans will once again continue to flock to the game in droves to get their hands on their favorite players from the present and past.

Gameplay is strong enough right now to keep the consumer intrigued. It’s not perfect, and the team is working to improve some of the wounds the community is looking to have healed, but it’s a good start.

I said in April that I believe this is probably the best rendition of MLB The Show we have seen thus far and I still believe that statement rings true. The content schedule and subsequent drops are astounding. San Diego Studio simply set the new bar for what a team-building mode should look and play like. The genre has been redefined.

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  1. Sorry, not a fan.
    This to me, just comes across as here are reasons why you should be happy companies are ruining gaming with this whole games as a service online/Ultimate team/loot box/micro transaction crap.
    I have not and will not support or contribute to these modes and will leave each and every title that continues along this path. I have left every other single sports title, leaving The Show and F1 as my only sports games. I no longer play FPS or any of the Battle Royal nonsense. If a game cannot offer me a decent length/developed single player experience, I no longer support those titles. I am happy with The Show 19 and will not move forward until offline/franchise modes start getting some real love.
    I disagree with the premise of this article and probably for very different reasons than many here will. New Cards do not equal New Content - cards are rewards. New content is something you have to play to EARN the rewards.
    The mode this year has been dumbed-down significantly to accommodate the competitive crowd. Last year offered a breadth of significantly challenging programs (such as the Immortal programs) which required skill and good roster construction. This year is a shallow and empty mode which is easy to get through (because the competitive guys don't like things to be hard).
    You know why the content 'slowed down' last year? Because the whole point of the immortal program was to provide an extended and challenging mode. Instead, people ran through them on rookie mode and banged them out quickly and basically burned through 3 months of content in 48 hours. That's on them. I spent months enjoying the programs and challenges while the online guys kept griping about a 'lack of content'.
    Now....I totally get the limited lineup pool issues that occurred this year, and I agree that this has been MUCH better this year. But the problem is that you don't really have to EARN anything. The programs (if you call them that) are built around the pedantic Moments and the "just play the game" philosophy. I can teach a 4 year old what buttons to press and stick them in front of the game for hours on-end and they could complete every team affinity and program by just racking-up innings played. Now you tell me....does that sound like "fun"?
    SDS needs way better content to go to their improved rewards. We need to get back to making people work for stuff instead of making this a giveaway mode. No, we don't need grinds for 300 saves or anything that ridiculous - but we should have to actually exhibit some degree of skill (vs racking-up innings). In short....the door was swung too far towards offline play last year, swung too far back towards online this year....we need middle ground.
    Absolutely love DD this year. I usually never play the mode but this year I gave it a chance and I'm addicted. Custom Jerseys to the deep selection of cards you are able to grind for. I usually am a Single Player Franchise player but the changes made to this years rendition has me enjoying DD for the first time. 
    I agree with Bullit. I have zero interest in ultimate team/DD/collecting modes. Give me offline franchise/career play and I am happy. Just have no interest in online gaming.
    I am not a big fan of collecting and building teams using legends etc. For me, DD is so convoluted it's hard to keep up. In Conquest, I'm not sure what the goal is and I don't have time to sit and figure out what the goal is.
    There's just too much content for my liking which for me ruins the game. I'm more of a play with the MLB teams either offline or online which is why I miss the days of Triple Play/MVP baseball and games like it when all you did was load the game and play h2h or against the CPU.
    what happened to "custom rosters, historical rosters, full-scale minor league rosters, deep, well-aged franchise files, create-a-player modes and so on"?
    Add me to the list of people who completely 100% disagree with you. Too many arcade type options in the game now. I rarely chime into these types of articles, but I just had to say something. I never played DD and never will. Franchise mode has been 99% untouched in MLB 19 which is why I haven't bought it. I'm still playing 18 because there's no reason to upgrade.
    As I've said before, I don't really get into DD or Conquest or anything outside of Franchise Mode, but I actually do enjoy collecting the cards that are available and also seeing what team I could put on the field should I choose to dive into DD.
    These card collecting/ultimate team modes may not be my cup of tea, but they are the "new way to play" sports games these days and are extremely popular.
    I've always wondered if OS are shills for SDS for publishing content such as this with MLB The Show.  How can  you write this article with a straight face when Franchise Mode has been stagnant for the past 5 years or so?
    I also disagree with the article. I'm concerned this kind of press claiming everything is fine, despite massive rifts in functionality and community, is causing harm.
    Out of the park is the gold standard for adding online modes without hemorrhaging offline functionality.
    Yeah, can't agree at all tbh. It does come down to what you consider "content" though, a lot of people seem to consider lots of cards with high numbers content, but as someone mentioned earlier, for me content is things to do. In terms of new and interesting things to do, this has been the worst year in a long time, at least in my opinion.
    Although most say it was barren at release Gran Turismo Sport has to take the ps4 prize for post release content. Content that takes far more development time than we see here.
    Again like others above I disagree completely. Adding to these modes isn’t content. It’s not something that should be praised.
    So many modes and features could be added and refined but these are single player or couch options that in no way can be milked.
    OS please be better. Read the comments here and the feeling of most of your readers - we don’t like these modes we don’t like lootboxes and pay to play or win content.
    This community was based on roster updates and historical teams and franchises - please use your voice to fight for better dev of these modes the community was built on and don’t become “influencers” paid to try and convince us that these milking modes are good
    lotsa ways to get those cards but the way I really want to unlock 'em is:
    Up - Up - Down - Down - Left - Right - Left - Right - B - A. X - O
    The anti-loot-box bill can't become law soon enough.

    DD really isnt for me but anti-capitalism definitely ain't for me. If I'm picking the lesser of two evils give me loot boxes all day long. for me to comment any further would push the OS ToS envelope more than I want to.
    I played DD this year, as I usually do, but had to stop due to boredom.  Any article that lists Conquests as a plus instantly loses credibility.   Why would anyone want to repeat something so mind numbing each month?   Most of the packs listed above have horrible return value...Headliner packs?  Seriously?  Not to mention that the Moments are an absolute bore to me as well.  First time in a long time that Franchise mode has been player 10x fold over DD.  Best news is that I saved some money on packs.  
    They absolutely destroyed DD this year for me.  
    I would say I could care less about the DD type modes but that would be I lie. I care that companies are putting more effort into these modes than they are with the classic franchise/gm type modes. I see that happening with a game, I won't buy. That simple.
    Which is one of the reasons I don't own this game nor will I.
    From a business standpoint, yea its great for companies. 2K probably makes scrooge mcduck cash with NBA2k because of their coin ****. Same with Madden. MLB The Show is trying to do the same thing.
    But as someone who, again, has zero interest in that, no thanks.
    If the OOTP makers were able to drop their entire sim engine into a graphics engine like, the show for example. I buy it in a heartbeat.
    "83 percent of FIFA owners play Ultimate Team mode."
    I'm going to call BS on this. I think it's more 83% happened to click on FUT because there was a notification on the menu then never bothered to go back.
    Caulfield
    DD really isnt for me but anti-capitalism definitely ain't for me. If I'm picking the lesser of two evils give me loot boxes all day long. for me to comment any further would push the OS ToS envelope more than I want to.

    I agree with free market and capitalism, my issue with loot boxes or card packs or any random/lottery based system rooted in virtual currency with actual monetary value is that it should be regulated and 21+ only like buying scratchers. Problem is it can’t be regulated as is so it’s a catch-22.
    I’d have no problem if they just had a market where you knew what you spent money on was getting what you wanted, the chance factor is what bugs me.
    This so called gold standard has pushed the game so far away from the game I used to love and could not put down to a game I barely play anymore. I have moved to OOTP mostly, while not remotely the same type of game it is all baseball. The Show has their target audience and I know I don’t fit in it anymore which is fine things change.
    No no no.  I will never play micro-transaction modes ever again. They only "gold standard" is how much gold they expect you to give up to play a sports game. You should be ashamed of yourselves. 
    Bartolo Colon
    If loot boxes are banned, how will that affect the Show in the long run? DD helps fund the game, I’m not interested in playing it but I’m glad it’s in it.

    Thats the 64000 dollar question . Kinda foolish to put all your golden eggs in one basket. Way past time to cultivate the franchise eggs. They've been really creative the last 6 years with DD. Now is the time to unleash that creativity on other aspects of the Show
    Retropyro
    "83 percent of FIFA owners play Ultimate Team mode."
    I'm going to call BS on this. I think it's more 83% happened to click on FUT because there was a notification on the menu then never bothered to go back.

    Its all a lie, built on a self fulfilling prophecy. Neglect all other modes, then site numbers about less people play non micro transcation or online modes. This is done up and down through every franchise.
    People have begun to wake up though. We won't get fooled again.
    Caulfield
    DD really isnt for me but anti-capitalism definitely ain't for me. If I'm picking the lesser of two evils give me loot boxes all day long. for me to comment any further would push the OS ToS envelope more than I want to.

    Your collection will be gone in two years once the servers shut off.
    You have no physical goods. None. Nothing to transfer to later games.
    Once they shut off the servers, an entire mode will be rendered forever unplayable.
    Meanwhile, I can fire up a game from 1992 and get access to exactly as much content as was in the game at launch day. Never had to pay another penny. As it was MEANT to be.
    It's a shame, because the rest of The Show 19 plays amazingly well...aside from position-player stamina in franchise mode. So much for that extra money helping improve the game, huh?
    And I'm stopping my old-man rant here.
    Cold Snap
    Your collection will be gone in two years once the servers shut off.
    You have no physical goods. None. Nothing to transfer to later games.
    Once they shut off the servers, an entire mode will be rendered forever unplayable.
    Meanwhile, I can fire up a game from 1992 and get access to exactly as much content as was in the game at launch day. Never had to pay another penny. As it was MEANT to be.
    It's a shame, because the rest of The Show 19 plays amazingly well...aside from position-player stamina in franchise mode. So much for that extra money helping improve the game, huh?
    And I'm stopping my old-man rant here.

    I dont play DD so I dont have a bought and paid for collection to use in 2 years anyway.
    As for modes being unplayable once servers are down, always been that way in all video games not just the Show. we know that going in. The sheer amount of data in a video game from the last 5 years cant even begin to compare with the litty bitty amount from 25 years ago. You have every right to expect, nay, demand that from a 1992 game. As for ''as it was MEANT to be'', I suppose I could stop driving in my car and start walking, as it was meant to be lol but you cant stop progress even when progress taken out of context seems worse than where you began. I would just rather let the free-market decide the fate of loot boxes than some federal revenooers tell me what I can and cannot buy. And I will never stop old-man-ranting even after they put me in a home :lol:
    Cold Snap
    Your collection will be gone in two years once the servers shut off.
    You have no physical goods. None. Nothing to transfer to later games.
    Once they shut off the servers, an entire mode will be rendered forever unplayable.
    Meanwhile, I can fire up a game from 1992 and get access to exactly as much content as was in the game at launch day. Never had to pay another penny. As it was MEANT to be.
    It's a shame, because the rest of The Show 19 plays amazingly well...aside from position-player stamina in franchise mode. So much for that extra money helping improve the game, huh?
    And I'm stopping my old-man rant here.

    I haven't spent anymore than the original purchase price and I'm able to have access to the same cards as everyone else.
    These claims that you are forced to pay additional money and such as absolutely false. Nothing is hidden behind a paywall. You are given the option to either play the game and earn stubs or spend actual currency and buy stubs.
    You get to decide...nothing is forced.
    countryboy
    I haven't spent anymore than the original purchase price and I'm able to have access to the same cards as everyone else.
    These claims that you are forced to pay additional money and such as absolutely false. Nothing is hidden behind a paywall. You are given the option to either play the game and earn stubs or spend actual currency and buy stubs.
    You get to decide...nothing is forced.

    Flaunt your cards in 2023 and get back to me.
    Cold Snap
    Flaunt your cards in 2023 and get back to me.

    The last two guys you quoted made fairly innocuous statements about the game. They weren't making pro-DD/virtual card collection comments.
    What part of their posts are you disagreeing with?
    countryboy
    I haven't spent anymore than the original purchase price and I'm able to have access to the same cards as everyone else.
    These claims that you are forced to pay additional money and such as absolutely false. Nothing is hidden behind a paywall. You are given the option to either play the game and earn stubs or spend actual currency and buy stubs.
    You get to decide...nothing is forced.

    That's true of all these mobile games and the like, none of them "force" you to pay extra money, but they just encourage you to, at every turn. DD isn't at mobile game levels yet, but it's the direction all these UT games are heading if they aren't discouraged from doing so.
    if you dont like the narrative, change it: loot boxes aren't loot boxes anymore; they are ''surprise mechanics''.
    most of the signature series holds little appeal to me but whatever inning the Chipper Jones Card gets released, I will at the very least attempt to acquire him. I may not succeed, or even try hard but I'll still be somewhat interested in looking into it. :shrugz:
    BigOscar
    That's true of all these mobile games and the like, none of them "force" you to pay extra money, but they just encourage you to, at every turn. DD isn't at mobile game levels yet, but it's the direction all these UT games are heading if they aren't discouraged from doing so.

    Then let's stop accusing them of forcing you to pay extra money to be able to play the game. It's simply not true. That was my point.
    There's nothing wrong with them offering the user the ability to pay additional money as a way of "not playing" the game to get quicker access to stubs/cards. If there is a consumer base that is willing to pay additional funds, then why would SDS, or any game company turn that down?
    There is a consumer base/market for paying real money to access in game content. You may not like it, I may not like it, but it exists and nobody was forced, at least with SDS, to become a part of that consumer base/market.
    Nothing in this game is hidden behind a paywall.
    "These card collecting/ultimate team modes may not be my cup of tea, but they are the "new way to play" sports games these days and are extremely popular"
    I agree but I just don't have time to search and find specific cards for sets and I really don't have time to play the Conquest mode.
    Bullit
    Sorry, not a fan.
    This to me, just comes across as here are reasons why you should be happy companies are ruining gaming with this whole games as a service online/Ultimate team/loot box/micro transaction crap.
    I have not and will not support or contribute to these modes and will leave each and every title that continues along this path. I have left every other single sports title, leaving The Show and F1 as my only sports games. I no longer play FPS or any of the Battle Royal nonsense. If a game cannot offer me a decent length/developed single player experience, I no longer support those titles. I am happy with The Show 19 and will not move forward until offline/franchise modes start getting some real love.

    Bravo, Sir!
    Didn’t feel that a simple “like” did this post justice...
    -GW-
    Last year I played exclusively DD and while the grinds were too much, at least I was playing full games or 3 inning conquest games. This year I abandoned DD as:
    1. In moments and other challenges one only plays bits and pieces of games.
    2. I realized for me playing baseball was more important than collecting cards for players I will never use in games.
    This year, after a number of years playing RTTS and last year DD I now only play Franchise but I am using it like a season mode playing every game myself. I created my own historic players. If one wants to play with a historic player like Ty Cobb or Stan Musial you can create them yourself and play with them in RTTS or Franchise. You used to be able to create your own player in DD, but this does not appear to be a part of this year's DD.
    Sent from my CLT-L29 using Operation Sports mobile app
    Bartolo Colon
    If loot boxes are banned, how will that affect the Show in the long run? DD helps fund the game, I’m not interested in playing it but I’m glad it’s in it.

    I'd be more willing to pay $200 up front for the game than pay $60 and then spend more on microtransactions.
    countryboy
    Then let's stop accusing them of forcing you to pay extra money to be able to play the game. It's simply not true. That was my point.
    There's nothing wrong with them offering the user the ability to pay additional money as a way of "not playing" the game to get quicker access to stubs/cards. If there is a consumer base that is willing to pay additional funds, then why would SDS, or any game company turn that down?
    There is a consumer base/market for paying real money to access in game content. You may not like it, I may not like it, but it exists and nobody was forced, at least with SDS, to become a part of that consumer base/market.
    Nothing in this game is hidden behind a paywall.

    Haven't tried top play NBA 2k without spending real money have you? You are pretty much forced to pay to get your player anywhere near a competitive level. The minuscule "rewards" you get after each game (mycareer) will allow you to be competitive in about 3 years which won't work since the game cycle is annual, especially since your player sucks so bad you don't get enough floor time to get more rewards. From what I've read, it's the same for people who play head to head.
    JHodges57
    Haven't tried top play NBA 2k without spending real money have you? You are pretty much forced to pay to get your player anywhere near a competitive level. The minuscule "rewards" you get after each game (mycareer) will allow you to be competitive in about 3 years which won't work since the game cycle is annual, especially since your player sucks so bad you don't get enough floor time to get more rewards. From what I've read, it's the same for people who play head to head.

    No
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    JHodges57
    Haven't tried top play NBA 2k without spending real money have you? You are pretty much forced to pay to get your player anywhere near a competitive level. The minuscule "rewards" you get after each game (mycareer) will allow you to be competitive in about 3 years which won't work since the game cycle is annual, especially since your player sucks so bad you don't get enough floor time to get more rewards. From what I've read, it's the same for people who play head to head.

    Okay, but the way 2K runs business has nothing to do with how Sony San Diego does.
    SmashMan
    Okay, but the way 2K runs business has nothing to do with how Sony San Diego does.
    that reminds me, let me add to my 2020 wishlisht: I wish the Show played more like Red Dead Redemption :y1:
    nemesis04
    The Show has their target audience and I know I don’t fit in it anymore which is fine things change.



    countryboy
    I have no idea WTF this means???
    Sent from my iPhone using

    dalger21


    But you know that going in. You know what you're getting for your money. If you don't want to spend real money to buy cards that you will only have for that game and until the servers are shut down, then don't spend the money.
    Guys are acting as if you're required to pay real money in addition to the purchase price to play the game which is completely false, no matter how one tris to spin it or how many times one claims it.
    countryboy
    But you know that going in. You know what you're getting for your money. If you don't want to spend real money to buy cards that you will only have for that game and until the servers are shut down, then don't spend the money.

    "It's not MY fault for tricking you, it's YOUR fault for falling for it."
    Cold Snap
    "It's not MY fault for tricking you, it's YOUR fault for falling for it."

    If you’re naive enough to think that the cards you buy this year are going to carry over to the next game then yes it’s your fault
    There’s no trickery taking place
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

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