MLB 2K10 Franchise Mode

  POSTED January 28, 2010

Mike Del Santo,one of the producers for Major League Baseball 2K10 give us a little bit of a sneak peek into what’s new in MLB 2K10 Franchise mode this year. While 2K Sports spent a lot of their development time implementing our new “My Player” career mode feature, they still managed to add quite a few new features to Franchise mode. 2K Sports guys are lucky to have some smart Franchise programmers who also happen to be extremely knowledgeable baseball fans which made setting up new features and implementing them effectively go very smoothly.

 Screenshots Gallery

" So let’s get into it! This year we added 40 Man Rosters/September Call-Ups, Compensation Picks, Spring Training, Trade Finder, Player Finder, Super Sim, Franchise Blogs, Variable Contracts and MLB Today presentation (we’ll also have a lot more about this in an upcoming Insight). I’ll go into a few of these new features in more depth later on in this write-up. 
I want to get a quick concern I know many of you had last year out of the way immediately: we have brought back full ability to edit players and their stances/windups, including the ability to give any player any signature stance/windup that we have (this will be available both in Franchise mode and in the front end). This year we also added the ability to play Double-A and Triple-A games in both Franchise and regular exhibition mode. We have nine great looking new stadiums for Minor League teams, including some very cool Double-A and Triple-A Minor League stadiums, and a couple of Spring Training stadiums. 

Making a return from last year are the improved Fantasy Draft and Amateur Draft (which now takes place during season in June), full 30 team control ability, full CPU roster editing options, the front end integration, the MLB Futures Game, Home Run Derby and Sabermetric Stats. As with last year our Franchise mode allows for full automation of both the Major Leagues and the Minor Leagues. If you are the type of player that wants to keep your Franchise completely accurate and up to date with real life rosters and trades, you will be able to do that. If you just want to play games and have fun being the GM of your favorite team but don’t want to worry about any of the day to day roster, injury or lineup management tasks, you can turn on the automation options and you will never have to deal with them. If you want to manage tasks for just your Major League team but don’t want to worry about the day to day tasks for your Minor League teams you will also be able to customize your Franchise that way.

New Features

40 Man Rosters/September Call-Ups
For the first time ever, we now have 40 Man Rosters and September Call-Ups. This was a feature we wanted to add for a long time and we are pretty excited that we were able to make it happen this year. You will be able to use your 40 Man Rosters in Spring Training and in the regular season from September 1st to the start of the postseason. Calling up your top prospects at the end of the season and being able to bring them into meaningful games is pretty cool. 

Compensation Picks
While we expect people will be pretty excited about 40 Man Rosters and September Call-ups, we think the new feature that will have the most impact on how users play through Franchise will be compensation picks. In a lot of Franchise modes (especially in baseball games with the wide payroll ranges between the big market and small market teams) it is very difficult to ever take a team like the Royals, Pirates, or any other low payroll team and turn them into a legitimate contender. Compensation picks can be thought of as something that can help these lower payroll teams to level the playing field against the big market teams like the Yankees and Red Sox. 

Compensation picks essentially work like this: if you are unable to re-sign a top player on your team and you lose him to free agency (as is frequently the case with many low payroll teams), you will get compensation in the form of draft picks for losing that player. Depending on how good the player is, you will get either the first round draft pick from the team that signs him and a compensation pick (which occurs in the Supplemental Round of the Amateur Draft) if the player was considered a Type A player or just a compensation pick if the player was considered a Type B player. 

In the past if you had a good player on your team who was becoming a free agent and you thought you would have a difficult time re-signing him, you would have either had to try and trade the player before the end of your season, or play out the season with him and let him become a free agent in which case you wouldn’t end up getting anything in return for him. Now if you lose a top player to Free Agency, you will get compensation picks, so you will always get some kind of value back. But this works both ways; if you are a high payroll team and you sign a top free agent, you will give up your top draft picks as compensation picks. This adds quite a bit of risk/reward to the mode and forces players to make the tough decisions that real GMs face of trying to sign top free agents and win now or keeping their teams’ draft picks and building their organization from the ground up.

Super Sim
I like to think I love baseball more than anyone I know, but even I will admit that the baseball season is long. Playing through a full 162-game season in a video game takes a lot of time and is a lot to ask. Like most people I hate simming through games and feeling like I have no control over my team’s performance. Super Sim is a great way to get through games during your season that you don’t particularly want nor have time to play, but still want to have some control over. 

With Super Sim, you have three simming options: you can simulate one play at a time, one half inning, or one full inning. You will be able to follow along with the game play by play as you sim through it and will be able to jump into the game and play whenever you want (you can also jump back to the Super Sim screen whenever you want after you are in-game). So if you are simming a game using Super Sim and see that the game is getting heated in the late innings, you can easily jump in and finish the game, or just jump in for an at-bat or two, then go back to the Super Sim screen. On the flip side if you are playing a game and have built a big lead and don’t want to finish playing it all the way through, you can go to the Super Sim screen and quickly sim through to the end of the game and follow it that way.

Trade Finder
Trade Finder is a cool feature that lets you quickly find trades that CPU teams would make with your team. It has two main functions: you can select players from your team that you want to trade and see what offers you will get for them from interested CPU teams, or you can also select players on CPU teams that you are interested in and see which players it would take from your team for the CPU team to trade them. Teams will be very unlikely to offer you trades for certain players, so good luck getting the Mariners to part with a young superstar like Felix Hernandez. 

Player Finder
Player Finder is a handy feature that lets you sort and filter players based on things like position type, age, salary and all the key attributes/ratings. You can also filter through different types of players, like power hitters, defensive specialists, complete players, and speed demons as well as a few others. If your team is in the pennant race and you want to quickly find a speedy Jose Reyes-type of player to have on your bench as a pinch runner in the Postseason, this feature will be a helpful way for you to find him.

For the most part we were pretty happy with our sim stats last year, but we spent a good amount of time working on improving them, as well as making our sim logic smarter. We also spent quite a bit of time improving our progression system and our trade logic. Everyone on the franchise team is excited about our game this year and we think all the Franchise players out there will really have a lot of fun with it. We are looking forward to hearing your feedback so feel free to drop us a line with your thoughts!  "

- Mike Del Santo
Assistant Producer 


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