MLB The Show 22: Is March to October replacing Franchise mode?

San Diego Studio
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In the recent MLB The Show 22 Feature Premiere, Sony San Diego combined both March to October and Franchise mode improvements in one stream. It sort of makes sense now as the changes to March to October are making even more similar to what a Franchise mode could be.

For those who missed the stream, some key improvements coming to March to October include the ability to play multiple seasons rather than just one season and then migrating to Franchise mode. There’s also a revamped offseason that now includes a free agency system that actually looks pretty darn good.

The Franchise mode improvements are a little more subtle but still welcomed nonetheless. A lot of the improvements being made to this mode are “under the hood” type stuff. Part of the presentation included a breakdown of how player and trade metric is not the same as trade logic and how MLB The Show 22 revamps the foundation for evaluating players over the course of multiple seasons.

As Sony San Diego sums it up, “Player and trade metric are the foundation that will allow for logic system improvements.” Other things players can expect are roster logic improvements and some tweaks to the free agency/offseason, which now include an expanded max contract offering of 15 years, boost in overall relief pitcher contracts and more.

The improvements to Franchise mode aren’t nothing — but they are also well short of what players have been asking for for years. Perhaps more interestingly, the changes made to March to October, specifically the multi-year approach and the free agency additions, now make it seem like the start of a Franchise mode 2.0.

So the question now is will March to October replace Franchise mode?

In a recent interview with MLB The Show creative director Nick Livingston, he was asked about the overall goal of March to October and what Sony San Diego are hoping to accomplish with the game mode.

Livingston commented how Franchise mode is nearly 15 years old and built back when the scope of MLB The Show was much smaller. It seems that as the game has evolved and grown, the code in which Franchise mode was built has been unable to keep up.

"“Over the years, as the game gets more complex, like we realize in order to truly innovate the game we actually have to go back in and build like a really strong foundation to build on. We can’t just be making these incremental things. We need to gain some momentum. We have to completely overhaul essentially he core pillars of our game. We’ve made changes that were visible but were as much about immediate impact as they are about building a strong foundation that we can iterate on so that we can have a bigger impact down the road.”"

Livingston’s response makes it seem like March to October is sort of the foundation for what Sony San Diego is hoping to build an improved Franchise mode on. And it seems quite possible that what we currently know as Franchise mode could be shifted into March to October.

"“There’s a lot of under the hood things that we’re proud of in Franchise mode and those things affect like a multitude of different modes but for the offseason suite, we would have to do twice as much work to put that in franchise mode or we can do more foundational things that move move us faster in the direction of truly innovating in the future… March to October is kind of like the place that we’re trying to build that future.”"

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Livingston’s comments seem to align with previous reports that Franchise mode features are built on legacy code and updating that code at this point requires too much resources than what they can allocate. So rather than continuing to implement major changes, they are just rolling those changes into March to October which, inevitably, will become the new Franchise mode.