There is no market more lucrative for the microtransaction space than the sports genre. No matter what series you are playing — FIFA, Madden, NBA 2K — nearly every sports title is based around an unabashedly exploitative market. In this sense, Sony’s MLB The Show 18 is looking to be the first major name in the genre to break from tradition and drop microtransactions in the Road to The Show, a fresh of breath air for an often-stagnant industry.
News comes by way of PlayStation Blog, in their article detailing the major changes to Road to The Show. Interestingly, they said the removal of microtransactions isn’t based around the public uproar, but instead a design change to give gamers a more realistic representation of the grind required by Minor League athletes to make it to the Majors.
In the past iterations of the game, players have been able to purchase “Training Points” via microtransactions to make the mode easier, often giving a shortcut to those willing to pay an extra fee.
This isn’t to say that microtransactions are entirely gone from MLB The Show 18. The most notable expense — Diamond Dynasty — will hand on to its microtransactions revolving around card collecting. However, even removal of possible pay-to-win microtransactions in a single player mode is a notable win in 2018 for anti-microtransaction fans.
The video below delves more into the changes players can expect in the Road to The Show mode — notably new archetyes and attribute caps that (hopefully) offer a more balanced mode that is less reliant on microtransaction play.
Of course, MLB The Show 18‘s departure from some areas of microtransactions isn’t the only big change coming to baseball’s most notable gaming franchise. Sony has also detailed that the Online Franchise mode won’t be making a return, and that there is a new implementation of three-inning games to offer shorter gameplay experiences to those not willing to make it through games normally ranging three times longer.
This shift away from microtransactions seems to be the new meta in 2018. Earlier last week, it was confirmed that Sony’s other major flagship game this year — God of War — will not have microtransactions. Following that up, Microsoft’s State of Decay 2 said they have no current plans to add microtransactions in their bargain-priced survival zombie title.
MLB The Show 18 is slated to launch on March 27, 2018 exclusively for PS4. Check out the Road to the Show video below, detailing the new changes: