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MLB The Show 20 Franchise Mode: Smart Integration of Existing Features But We Need More Next-Gen

MLB The Show 20

MLB The Show 20 Franchise Mode: Smart Integration of Existing Features But We Need More Next-Gen

While franchise mode did not undergo any monumental changes in MLB The Show 20, a few added features have at least added to the immersion of the experience. The new additions could point to a potential shift for the title in the coming years, especially with the introduction of next-generation consoles in the coming year.

What Changed

It’s been years since San Diego Studio has dedicated much in terms of resources to franchise mode in MLB The Show. The experience has largely been stale, lacking any innovation or even repackaging to spruce up the mode. In recent years, iterations of franchise mode have become the new norm with modes such as March To October seemingly trying to replace, or at the very least supplement, a lacking endeavor. In the past, one could fairly critique SDS for completely ignoring franchise mode.

You could still fairly do that this year, but the developers did at least try to integrate some new things from elsewhere in the game (or the community).

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 20

The most significant inclusion to this year’s game is without a doubt the addition of “full” Minor League rosters. By adding face scans and audio cues for some of the biggest up-and-coming prospects in baseball, San Diego Studio has added a new level of immersion for those who simply want to enjoy these players. It was not a perfect transition for the rosters, but we know they’ll get better, and the partnership should hopefully only grow in the years ahead.

After all, the minor leaguers that were included in the game with face scans and artist renditions are great, but those who weren’t featured are a bit of a mess. Created player faces are iffy at times, organizational depth charts are simply wrong, there are some missing players, and ratings (admittedly always a cliché topic) are suspect at times. There’s no doubt the addition of the prospects is a step in the right direction, and it was no doubt a ton of work. But it begs the question, if the rosters aren’t accurate or correct — ratings entirely aside — are the prospects a futile gesture?

No, of course not.

On top of that, community rosters are once again available on the Roster Vault and will undoubtedly be leaned on again by the general public. This applies to things even beyond the rosters such as improved player faces as well.

Relocate And Rebrand

The one other “new” feature in franchise mode is the ability to relocate and rebrand a team to a new city of your liking. It’s not a full suite relocation engine like some others titles include, but users do have the ability to replace current teams with custom teams with a system built from the Diamond Dynasty create-a-team engine. Gamers can change the team name, design a brand new logo for your new team, build out a brand new set of uniforms and select a new home ballpark.

The ballparks you can choose from are the 30 big league stadiums, 11 classic stadiums, and 22 minor league stadiums already pre-baked into the game. The feature as a whole is largely underwhelming, but from this chair, relocating teams like the Rays or Athletics when you’re not using them, and allowing your team the chance to play those new teams a couple times each year, definitely does add some interest in the moment. If you’re a player who wants to build out a brand new fantasy-type league filled with 30 new teams, and fantasy draft, etc. it’s a welcome new addition that will be extremely fun to try.

Can These Things Be Built On For The Future?

As a whole, that’s the extent of the changes to franchise in MLB The Show 20. Those two new features are very cool and very welcome, especially for a mode starving for innovation over the past five years. However, it still needs work on a number of levels. Users are still begging for a true relocation system. They want the ability to build a brand new state of the art ballpark from scratch. For the person looking for a true sim experience, the ability to deep dive into an advanced scouting system prior to the draft continues to be a loud exclusion. For that matter, editable draft classes seem like a simple feature that could be provided without much tinkering, much like what Madden and NBA 2K have done over the past several years. Madden has actually had editable draft classes for a decade. It’s long overdue.

Elsewhere, rotating interleague schedules, a more immersive offseason free agent frenzy and more in-depth storylines that are included in-game would all be welcome additions to franchise mode in the coming years. Developers have been candid that the PlayStation 4 is largely tapped in terms of memory for new features, so next-generation consoles should lead to more innovation in the immediate future. Launch years are always a bit dodgy, so MLB The Show 21 might not be the groundbreaking title everyone is looking for, but I would be hard-pressed not to believe the 2022 iteration of the title should be a real page-turner.

Alas, that’s still a year or two away, so for the time being, users will just have to take what they can from this year and hope for better things in the years to come.

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  1. When I got the game I went thru the rosters. The "full" minors. I noticed that there were multiple times the same face appeared on dozens of players on different teams. I believe there were about five of them that were really repetitive. So, the idea of full rosters is certainly a good idea, something went wrong.
    Loving the game otherwise.
    glad AAA & AA got real players (mostly, still found a few fake players there, usually a dev) but once the PS5 gets separated from the PS4 (2024?) I really want to see full high & low Single A rosters expanded with another 15 spots for short-season prospects. in effect going from 90 man organisations to 140
    so many little things that are really just for cosmetic purposes could be added that would immerse you even further. like, let me give a name to my G.M. and a slot for an owner name to remind me who's footing the bill.
    Next up please:
    Shorter seasons - dont want to hear about MTO its not the same
    Ballpark creator - if not gladly pick from say 10 new state of the art Major league ball park creations from sds, milb parks arent good enough.
    Team records - whichever team you take over lets just say the yankees it will still have all of THEIR achievements, 27 world series etc.. Need a clean slate.
    Sent from my LG-H873 using Operation Sports mobile app
    Franchise in my opinion this year is ****!
    Full minors? Nope
    Relocate? Sure but with all the current stadiums and their logo's still appearing I would call it ok but not great or even good attempt
    And also with all the bugs to the rosters and stats Franchise isnt even playable yet-
    Overall for us strictly Franchise players until the last thing is fixed this game isnt even enjoyable this year-
    And I really want it to be!
    Stay Safe!
    Shorter seasons - dont want to hear about MTO its not the same
    M20 & the old, adjustable shorter season mode are as similar as a homerun derby & a 3-point shootout.
    Seems like the same article every year for every sports game.
    "They added this, but it doesn't work properly... They added that, but they need more, maybe a 3 year cycle? maybe next gen?... Game plays great, but patch ruined it, waiting for next patch... Legacy issues still abundant, I can't believe this got past QC, what? are they blind?..."
    We're being strung along.
    They add a few half baked features to hype-up day one sales and they fix nothing. Can a writer dig deep and figure out why this is the trend? Why are the betas good and then the first or second patch reverts the game to serve its crooked online scheme? Hmm? Instead of writing these (what seems like a copy and paste from last years' same story) benign, play it safe, don't offend, getting us no where, weakly speculative articles, can we get one that calls out this nonsense? This deception? This bate and switch?
    One thing that is good is for the most part is the Show’s franchise mode is pretty stable. It is not perfect. It does have some quirks....but I employ 30 team control to manage some of that.
    I also create storylines on my own.
    However I would love a more vibrant communication hub for the entire league with news stories (we used to have the newspapers which were cool) around the league.
    Better scouting and a more robust draft and just better CPU logic coupled with a better storyline/news center is all I really crave. The radio show is ok.....but it was never expanded upon.
    Here is hoping to an expansion of franchise mode on the PS5.
    Gameplay wise though.....I am in total baseball heaven.

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