SAN DIEGO — MLB: The Show 21 has received criticism from fans for its single-player campaign, Road to the Show, which forces the main character to spend a “boring” and “totally unrealistic” stretch of time in the minor leagues, sometimes almost a whole season.
“I did the tutorial, got used to the controls, even bashed a home run—so why haven’t they put me in the majors? I’ve been on the El Paso Chihuahuas for like, 10 games almost,” said Ethan Reid, a local gamer and Padres fan. “I didn’t go through all the trouble to download this off Game Pass just to waste my career with these losers.”
Some gamers suspected the “impossibly slow” progression was due to a software bug.
“My closer just threw three saves in a row, and he’s still not on the White Sox,” said gamer Nichole Adams, after a total of three games with the Birmingham Barons. “You know what, screw it. I’ll just go to the Yankees. How do I demand a trade?”
Others claimed the slow progression was part of a conspiracy to encourage microtransactions, by making it too hard to advance to the majors through experience alone.
“First, they dangle this shiny thing in front of you, right? Be the pitcher for your favorite major league team! But then, what they don’t tell you is, you’re actually gonna have to do all this bullshit first. I had to repeat the same sequences over and over, getting only the slightest bit better every time. I had to learn new pitches to balance out my weak points, and then I had to practice those, too. And worst of all, they literally made me prove myself in high-pressure situations, day in, day out, before the organization even considered promoting me to the big stage. Could you imagine if it actually worked like that in real life?” said Jose Webster, who eventually bought $20 in equipment cards to get promoted to the Phillies.
After being promoted, Webster reportedly only played a few games before quitting MLB: The Show 21 entirely, complaining there was “nothing to do.”
Want to learn about interesting things, but mostly hear comedians goofing on them? Check out our podcast Deep Dive in the Shallow End!