The 2020 Major League Baseball season begins next week, but a major component to the games will be missing due to the pandemic: crowds. Fortunately, the studio behind the MLB The Show (opens in new tab) series has been recording crowd reactions from MLB games for several seasons, and now those noises will fill real-life MLB stadiums in place of a live crowd.
It's not just simulated cheering and booing that's coming to MLB games - ESPN (opens in new tab) reports that roughly 75 reactions from the video game crowds will echo through stadium sound systems at appropriate times during games. The hope is that the crowd noises will help make both watching and playing MLB games as authentic to the real thing as possible.
"You're still focused on the game, but that noise is very helpful. I could tell the first few scrimmages with pure silence was tough for some guys," said Brewers infielder Eric Sogard. "You could hear the other dugout talking, and it was kind of awkward."
Apparently, the crowd noise will be audible when you're watching games at home on the TV, which isn't always the case in other examples of simulated crowd noise.
This isn't an entirely new idea, actually. For example, FIFA 20 (opens in new tab) crowd noises are used during real Premier League games (opens in new tab), with EA supplying European soccer leagues with 13 hours of sound and 1,300 individual "assets."
While we wait for the real 2020 MLB season to begin, here are the MLB The Show 2020 player ratings (opens in new tab) according to the default roster.