Online Franchise has been cut from MLB The Show 18

Posted March 3rd, 2018 at 8:30 am

As Ultimate Team and Diamond Dynasty modes exploded in popularity and their ability to generate digital revenue soared, Online Franchise in games not named Madden began to be seen as fringe by developers. They’ve been left lacking core features, rarely been updated, and issues with them have often been ignored in post-release support. NHL for one decided to just dump it for good after struggling to get it to run properly.

Now MLB The Show is also going away from the mode completely. The mode, introduced to the series in 2014, will not be in MLB The Show 18 as announced by Sony San Diego. 

Online Franchise mode didn’t make the cut this year.  This was not an easy decision to make and we understand some of you will be disappointed with this change, but we believe focusing on continuing to improve our online performance was the right priority for The Show 18.  With the major technology change this year it wasn’t possible to just leave in the previous mode without alteration.

While this isn’t quite an NHL 15 or NBA 2K12 situation, where popular features had been removed but the publishers hid that information until consumers discovered it on their own, it’s late notification considering the game is out in three weeks. SCEA has been collecting pre-orders since early November and began doing so by heavily pushing sales through the PlayStation Store where refunds are not provided.

Ultimately the reasoning behind its removal really won’t matter to those who valued Online Franchise. Though the total in numbers may be low it’s a passionate and vocal group that’s magnified by the the social aspect of having been playing together with friends – and so the swift backlash being seen now on social media, forums, Reddit and elsewhere is not surprising. Those fans have lost an experience that can’t be duplicated by any of the other modes in the game.

Online Franchise has been the least played mode in The Show which makes it getting the axe not entirely surprising. The argument Online Franchise fans will make is that of course the numbers are low for a feature that often lost results and progress due to server issues, faced situations where leagues would not advance and other broken functionality, and lacked many of the features from the standard offline franchise. And so now it becomes fair to question whether Online Franchise will ever return to The Show.