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If you’ve ever fired up MLB The Show and jumped into their franchise mode, you know the blessing it is to take your carefully molded team from one year to the next without missing a beat. Introduced in MLB The Show 17, you were able to carry over your franchise team from MLB The Show 16 and continue with the players you wanted, your trades, your signings and your team. This has never been a feature in EA Sports franchises but it’s something gamers have desperately wanted. The trend continues through EA’s batch of 2019 games as Madden, FIFA, NHL and NBA Live don’t allow you to carry over your team from their 2018 predecessors.

EA Rules Out Franchise Mode Carry-Over

While frustrating to see a console exclusive do this, Matt Prior at EA gave a reason why this can’t happen. He did an interview with German website esport.kicker.de and they asked him that very question.

“The challenge there is that most players play their season far longer than just next year, many people are playing for 20 years, and if you take that and bring it to the new edition, then all the teams are different and all that. So it’s very difficult to continue on this path if all the lineups and teams change every year, which is a challenge. ” – Matt Prior, EA.

On the surface, this seems like a poor excuse as to why EA won’t allow you to bring your team from one year of a game to the next. I’m not a programmer so I can’t tell you the coding side of how this would work out, but the issue has been rectified in sports gaming already.

Whether or not I want accurate lineups should be irrelevant. There is a certain point in every sports game where, if you play enough seasons, you’re using create-a-players against create-a-players. To this point, in my 2026 NBA 2K18 season, the only players left on my Celtics team are Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart. The rest are CAPs.

Reading through the interview makes me feel as though Prior and the team at EA just don’t want to accept the challenge of trying to put this into their games.

“We sit down once a year and look at the many ideas we have and select from them a priority agenda that we in one year and that affects as many FIFA players as possible.” – Matt Prior, EA.

With the increasing wealth companies like EA and 2K Games are making in Ultimate Team-style modes, there is fear that these companies will put fewer resources into updating their Franchise or Career-style modes.

Franchise players are being left in the dust in the current sports gaming space as games are just receiving minimal updates while the online counterparts are getting updated, and in some instances like NBA 2K19‘s MyTeam changes, completely revamped.

Prior talked about making The Champions League in FIFA.

“If you made it to the Champions League, for example, we redesigned the interface completely, so you get all the brands and it feels special and different than a normal league game, that’s the big change in career mode.” – Matt Prior, EA.

Things like this are nice for new players, but the sense of accomplishment is broken, especially when you’re talking about franchise mode. I can live with a career mode not carrying over from year to year (which something MLB The Show also allows) because developers like EA Tiburon or Visual Concepts want you to play their newest creation.

I will not accept something different for franchise mode. Outside of the first year when cutscenes and a “story” is a thing, every subsequent year remains the same.

Will EA ever change? It seems that by Prior’s admission, they won’t, but we can still hope.


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