Sony did not deliberately choose to integrate MLB The Show 21 on Xbox Game Pass, in addition to its release on Microsoft consoles.
By renewing the MLB The Show license agreement, Sony Interactive Entertainment was obligated to agree to the San Diego Studio exclusivity on PlayStation consoles becoming multiplatform. First announced for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Xbox One, the baseball simulation MLB The Show 21 is also scheduled for Xbox Game Pass on April 21. A surprising decision for many players, but one which is not voluntary, as a representative of the Japanese publisher recently explained: “As part of the game’s goal for this year, Major League Baseball has decided to introduce the franchise to more baseball players and fans. This initiative provides a unique opportunity to further establish MLB The Show as the premier baseball video game brand.”
MLB The Show 21 to Attract New Audiences with Xbox Consoles and Xbox Game Pass
George Jijiashvili, analyst at Omdia (leader in research on games and AR / VR technologies), believes that this choice aims above all to extend the reach of the series: “It is for the MLB to find a wider audience, which took precedence over the jousting between console manufacturers.“. Same story with Piers Harding-Rolls, research director at Ampere Analysis, who considers it a practical decision: “From an MLB perspective, this makes sense commercially, as it opens up the content to a lot more players, especially in the US, while still allowing the established studio to continue working on the game. am sure MLB has watched with interest the in-game monetization of other sports game franchises like Madden and FIFA and is thinking of public reach rather than sales.”
It is difficult to know if Microsoft still had to sign a check for several million dollars to MLB Advanced Media (video game division of) to be able to offer MLB The Show 21 in the Xbox Game Pass for an apparently unlimited duration and from the launch of the game. For Sony, there is only the commercial aspect which is positive in this story.