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MLB 13 The Show dev diary brings Franchise mode changes to light

MLB 13 The Show developer Sony San Diego put a lot of effort into revamping the game's Franchise mode this year, and a new video from the studio highlights the changes.

Sony San Diego community manager Ramone Russell told Polygon in December that the studio spent about 40 percent of development resources for MLB 13 on Franchise mode. Three main areas were overhauled: scouting, team finances and player progression.

The studio is promising that budgets will be much more dynamic this year, increasing and decreasing with a team's performance. Ideally, this will give small-market teams that perennially occupy a division's cellar the chance to bring in more talent: If they can string together some winning seasons, a budget increase may allow them to sign the big free agent to take them to the World Series.

"Scouting has gone from being an afterthought to one of the centerpieces of Franchise mode," said associate designer Luis Martinez in the video. Players will now have much more information about prospects and more granular control of their scouts, so they can find hidden up-and-coming talent and draft them.

Baseball players throughout MLB 13 will progress and regress more realistically — you'll see some young phenoms rising quickly through the ranks, while the ratings of veterans in their mid-30s will gradually drop as they age and head toward retirement. This year, Franchise also gives MLB 13 users fine control of training assignments.

Sony San Diego is tying all these improvements together by refining the Franchise interface, attempting to surface vital information and reduce the navigation required to find it.

MLB 13 The Show launches March 5 on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. For details on its networked components, check out our interview with Russell from last month.