Multiple Barriers Obstruct The Use of Online Leagues in MLB 11: The Show

Posted March 25th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Think the $60 paid for MLB 11: The Show meant the advertised features would be available? Think again. SCEA has made a concerted effort to prevent the use of online leagues. Many gamers have been outraged to find that the product they purchased includes numerous blocks to utilizing the feature as the company remains unapologetic and less than forthright.

(update) Due to the exposure brought by the article SCEA will be removing league restrictions on Monday. More on the handling and decision to do so will be posted tomorrow.

As if online play isn’t in a bad enough state as it is SCEA actively wants to frustrate those who only wish to use an advertised feature. It is not only disrespectful to consumers but it’s deceptive and could be deemed false advertising. No where are the restrictions for online leagues publicly listed and even now no one seems to be completely sure of everything involved in the process as numerous requests for clarification have gone unanswered.

What has been discovered goes beyond the ridiculous 14 day wait period which begins after the first time logging into The Show. That has been around for years though so it was expected. With MLB 11 however they have added on new requirements. 10 ranked games have to be completed, a certain “sportsmanship” rating has to be achieved, and the game apparently has to be logged into every couple days. This is true of not only public leagues but any private leagues as well.

No one should have to waste 10 hours or so playing ranked games that they don’t want to play just to ‘earn the right’ to join or create an online league. The “sportsmanship” rating is even worse because it is largely out of the control of the individual, who has to rely on ratings from people that may be bitter because they got beat. Now also, imagine someone goes on vacation for a week, they’ve lost their chance to participate and may even get an automatic boot from an ongoing league.

Who knows what glitches may hamper the mode, as the restrictions have prevented most from even getting test runs completed and largely cut off potential impressions from those who would have been playing at this point. Even still early reports from the few that have been able to participate reveal a myraid of issues being experienced.

Its most depressing to see reviews cite online leagues as a feature for the game even though they have no idea if they work or not. That is exactly how the company would want it too. Why not get free credit for something? There’s a reason why they didn’t turn the servers for online play on until the morning of release day. They wanted to get as many reviews in as possible before the issues were discovered. In the case of online leagues SCEA was able to get sales from those who largely predicated their purchase on the league feature before they realized what they would actually be facing.

There was absolutely no notice made of the new restrictions which has led to many consumers being caught completely off guard. It is disappointing that a company would not only pull a stunt of this nature, but do so in a manner that completely dismisses the concerns of those who bought their product. No matter how good MLB 11: The Show is otherwise SCEA shouldn’t be able to get away deceptive tactics, and though it would not make up for what has already taken place, some form of action needs to be taken immediately.