Will the MLB lockout delay the MLB The Show 22 release date?

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MLB The Show 22 is already on the minds of many as we head into the new year, but the league lockout could end up having far-reaching impacts.

We're taking a closer look at how the MLB lockout could affect the MLB The Show 22 release date and whether a delay may be the outcome.

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MLB lockout rages on as MLB The Show 22 release date looms

As the MLB lockout continues to keep the league at a standstill, we're now only a few short months away from the potential arrival of MLB The Show 22.

We're also likely less than a month away from the planned reveal for the game which could include confirmed release date, cover star, and more.

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We're expecting MLB The Show 22 to have a release date of April 19, 2022, but landing a bit sooner or later wouldn't be too surprising.

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Unfortunately, much of that looks increasingly in question as the lockout rolls on and MLB The Show 22 sits without any official news.

There's plenty of uncertainty, but let's take a closer look at what's happening to the MLB and how it might actually impact MLB The Show 22.

MLB lockout rooted in player compensation, initiated by owners

Contrary to the MLB player strike that cancelled hundreds of games and the World Series from 1994 to 1995, this one was not initiated by the players.

Lockouts are instead initiated by owners and employers, in this case that means the league itself and the team owners have initiated the MLB lockout.

Everything was triggered by the expiration of the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) between the MLB and the MLB Players Association.

MLB The Show 22 lockout release date
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TAKE A SWING: MLB players are pushing for the things they feel are deserved

This clash between the union and the league is rooted largely in player compensation, with the MLBPA pushing for younger players to have a higher minimum salary, as well as pushback against teams tanking for better draft compensation.

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The MLB and MLBPA are actually meeting on Thursday, January 13, 2022 for the first time since the owner lockout triggered on December 2, 2021.

While there are hopes for progress at that meeting, it's a very real possibility that things could remain deadlocked for the time being.

For the MLB, that means looking over the horizon at February 26, 2022 when spring training games are scheduled, but it could have different impacts for MLB The Show 22.

Player likenesses are the biggest hurdle for MLB The Show 22

While on the surface the lockout may seem disconnected enough from the game to avoid having an impact, it's the use of player likenesses that could cause problems.

Part of the CBA between the MLBPA and MLB has to do with commercial usage of player likenesses on MLB properties or content.

Since the lockout began, all imagery of active players, including headshots, has been removed from MLB Network and MLB.com content as they shifted to classic games and retrospective content to fill the gap.

MLB The Show 22 hinges heavily on having the official players center stage, and the game itself basically can't operate as intended without them.

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MLB The Show 22 lockout release date
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THEY ARE THE SHOW: Without the MLB players, the game simply doesn't work

If the MLB lockout continues for several more weeks, we could see significant delays in announcements about MLB The Show 22 and a potential postponement of the release date until the situation is resolved.

Sony San Diego, developer for MLB The Show 22, has agreements with the MLBPA and MLB that concern the game, but the lack of a current CBA could prevent that from moving forward just yet on this year's game.

With negotiations finally kicking off, we're hoping MLB The Show 22 will get to go off without a hitch, but it's a very real possibility that this year's game could be delayed.