MLB The Show 21 on Xbox Game Pass was not Sony’s decision

Sony has washed their hands of the decision to release MLB The Show 21 on Xbox Game Pass on day one, stating that it was Major League Baseball themselves that chose to make a deal with Microsoft and put the game on the popular subscription service.

Speaking to Inverse, a PlayStation representative said, “As part of the goal for this year’s game, MLB decided to bring the franchise to more players and baseball fans. This decision provides a unique opportunity to further establish MLB The Show as the premier brand for baseball video games.”


Truthfully, the decision was not Sony’s to make. MLB The Show 21 is being published by Sony on PlayStation, but MLB is publishing the title themselves on Xbox. So it is with MLB that Microsoft has had to come to an agreement for getting the game on Xbox Game Pass, likely with no involvement from Sony in a business sense.

MLB The Show 21 is developed by Sony’s San Diego Studio, as it has been since the late-90s when the studio was called Sony Interactive Studios America, and it has long been a reason for baseball fans to pick PlayStation over its rivals. However, MLB announced at the end of 2019 that, while the license for the sport would stay with Sony, MLB The Show will be a cross-platform franchise going forward.

This will be the first MLB The Show game to come to Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, arriving day and date with the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 versions of the game on 20th April, however it was announced last week that it will be added to Xbox Game Pass on day one. Not only that, but both last-gen and new-gen versions of the game will be available through Game Pass – unlike how the Xbox One version of NBA 2K21 was added to Game Pass last month. That’s a big deal when there is no free cross-gen upgrade and the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions cost $69.99/£69.99/€79.99 or come via more expensive Collector’s Edition bundles.

MLB The Show 21 will be out for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and via Xbox Cloud Gaming for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers on 20th April.

Source: Inverse

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  1. My guess is Sony felt like their hands were tied with MLB wanting to publish on Xbox, and then someone at Microsoft saw an excellent opportunity for some bad press for Sony and got it on Gamepass. Pretty savvy of Microsoft, and hopefully Sony is reminded about the importance of exclusives in the console business.

    Must have been pretty expensive for Microsoft, though!

  2. I get the impression this series doesn’t sell as good as Sony hoped, and they aren’t too bothered about it now. There must have been something to convince them to scrap the exclusivity deal.

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