None of those archaic adjustments to the sport posed a problem for the not-yet-existent studio Sony Interactive Entertainment San Diego, which was 70-plus years away from releasing its first version of MLB the Show. Since SIE San Diego’s PlayStation series debuted in 2006, though, the game on the field has gotten more fierce, featuring record-setting strikeout rates and record-high home run rates. And when the game on the field changes, so does the game in the game—the most recent edition of which, MLB the Show 18, came out Tuesday.
“We’re trying to model what happens in real life,” Chris Gill, The Show’s senior producer and gameplay designer, says by phone. The people who purchase The Show’s new installment each spring, he adds, “actually want the game to MLB The Show 18 Stubs be as real as possible, and it’s only as real as the year prior.” That means that along with delivering the new gameplay features and annual incremental graphical upgrades that keep players coming back, the developers have to test and tweak The Show’s virtual version of baseball to bring it into line with the real-life league’s results.