MLB 'forces' Sony's San Diego Studio to release MLB: The Show 2021 on Xbox

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,901   +759
Staff member
SMH: When it comes to video games, exclusivity deals come and go, but I don't recall seeing fans getting this worked up over one. A little over a year ago, MLB: The Show fans learned the PlayStation-exclusive game would release on other consoles. Nobody batted an eye. But now Microsoft announces the game will launch on Game Pass from day one, and the world as we know it is over.

Baseball game MLB: The Show has been a first-party exclusive franchise for Sony's PlayStation consoles since 2006 when it first launched on the PS2. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that The Show 21 is coming to Xbox on April 20, just one day after it hits PlayStation consoles, and the internet went nuts. Fans of the game were vocally outraged at the sharing of this long-time PlayStation exclusive.

There is really nothing that Sony can do about the situation. While Sony-owned San Diego Studio is the developer, the Major League Baseball Association still owns the MLB license. The association decided to extend that license to other platforms. It could have dissented and lost the license altogether, but Sony agreed with taking the game in this direction.

"As part of the goal for this year's game, MLB decided to bring the franchise to more players and baseball fans," a PlayStation spokesperson told Inverse. "This decision provides a unique opportunity to further establish MLB The Show as the premier brand for baseball video games."

The news should not have come as that much of a surprise. The Major League Baseball association announced in 2019 that it had struck a new licensing deal with San Diego Studio. However, it's not the new Xbox offering that upset fans. It's that Microsoft is giving away MLB: The Show 21 on Game Pass from day one rather than charging the $60-70 that the game goes for on PlayStation.

Some players seem to feel that Sony should give the game away to Plus members or something. Obviously, April's free games have already dropped, but there is no set rule that Sony cannot make the exception. It already offers titles for free sporadically through its Play At Home initiative. Sony might ultimately decide to do this, considering the blowback it is getting from its fan base. However, so far, it has not announced such an offering.

As it stands, MLB: The Show 21 launches for PS5 and PS4 on April 19 for $70 and $60, respectively. Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S versions arrive the next day (April 20) free on Game Pass. Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions are $10 and $15, respectively. The Show 21 is cloud-enabled for Ultimate subscribers to play even on Android and PC. Non-subscribers can purchase the title outright for XB1 and XSX|S at the same $60 and $70 price points.

Permalink to story.

 

Wrinkle

Posts: 39   +33
It would be interesting to see the numbers behind Game Pass including recent investments in game studios. This especially in the light of Epic bleeding money to buy market share.

Microsoft definitely pulled a great trick here, Game Pass leaves Sony and arguably Nintendo in the dust. Combined with xcloud services running on all kinds of devices the platform potentially has a great future.

It also makes me wonder if Nintendo will partner up with Nvidia to bring a sort of GeForce Now to their consoles.
 

Thretosix

Posts: 66   +80
It would be interesting to see the numbers behind Game Pass including recent investments in game studios. This especially in the light of Epic bleeding money to buy market share.

Microsoft definitely pulled a great trick here, Game Pass leaves Sony and arguably Nintendo in the dust. Combined with xcloud services running on all kinds of devices the platform potentially has a great future.

It also makes me wonder if Nintendo will partner up with Nvidia to bring a sort of GeForce Now to their consoles.
The difference is you don't really own the game on Game Pass. Sony could end up with a lot of sales of the game on the Xbox platform once the Game Pass time expires. Game Pass is a great platform to get people to play games they may not have paid full price for otherwise. Then as the title leaves Game Pass you often can buy the game at a slight discount. I don't really see how this hurts Sony in the overall picture, I feel it will actually benefit them.

 

brucek

Posts: 763   +1,034
TechSpot Elite
Does anyone ever play prior year versions of these sports franchise games (I don't play at all, so I really don't know?) If the answer is not really, I can see why the Game Pass approach is a much stronger value.

I have games I like owning because I'll go back and play them again and again - I.e., the Bioshock and Deus Ex franchises - but if I know I'm never going to play '21 again once '22 is out and I can cover a good portion of a whole year's Game Pass subscription with the money I'd pay to buy '21 once - Game Pass it would be for me.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,124   +523
The difference is you don't really own the game on Game Pass. Sony could end up with a lot of sales of the game on the Xbox platform once the Game Pass time expires. Game Pass is a great platform to get people to play games they may not have paid full price for otherwise. Then as the title leaves Game Pass you often can buy the game at a slight discount. I don't really see how this hurts Sony in the overall picture, I feel it will actually benefit them.
Nothing is really ever owned to begin with since most things went subscribtion. Say you buy your fav multi-player game then the servers get turned off, game over. The user has no control. Games end and players move on, nature of the business. Subscription has a positive as it can also keep a game alive a lot longer than without one. Welcome to the world of business.
 

yukka

Posts: 913   +97
Owning games is great but the days of multiple replays and memorising levels is done for me (looking at you quake 1 and quake 2) so game pass is pretty fantastic. I do buy some games anyway (I bought hunt:showdown for £13.99 today on series X) and I always buy fifa (I know, I like football so there we go, up the reds). But knowing halo infinite is on the way plus outriders at the moment which is great fun just makes it great value to me. And tonight I just sat and play slay the spire for an hour and a half on game pass.

It’s better than Sony’s offerings and there isn’t the exclusive elder scrolls six yet.
 

Chemicalfacist

Posts: 36   +26
I see their logic. I pay my monthly fee for access to game pass and sometimes a month goes by and I don' see anything I really feel like playing. It is most certainly not "giving it away". MS has gotten their money out of me.
 

Edster

Posts: 93   +66
I see their logic. I pay my monthly fee for access to game pass and sometimes a month goes by and I don' see anything I really feel like playing. It is most certainly not "giving it away". MS has gotten their money out of me.

Yeah exactly. People need to realize, every initiative by a for-profit company is to make money. Microsoft's end game for Game Pass is not to be better for gamers, is for the better bottom line. I sometimes don't know why people get sucked into it. Every gamer joked about their giant Steam library and how few of the titles they actually play. So why would your habit be any different when it comes to Game Pass games?


I definitely see the appeal, but hey, Sony can rival Xbox with a service of their own to combat that. But either way subscription based psuedo free games (cause you won't own them after is taken out) is a future of gaming I don't want to see. I want devs to convince me to buy, not trying to convince MS/Sony/Epic to be free on their platform. The model also encourages creation of DLCs, as very likely they will earn their typical cut, and that when the game is removed, the players might be tempted to buy the whole game anyway because of the investment.
 

yukka

Posts: 913   +97
Yeah exactly. People need to realize, every initiative by a for-profit company is to make money. Microsoft's end game for Game Pass is not to be better for gamers, is for the better bottom line. I sometimes don't know why people get sucked into it. Every gamer joked about their giant Steam library and how few of the titles they actually play. So why would your habit be any different when it comes to Game Pass games?


I definitely see the appeal, but hey, Sony can rival Xbox with a service of their own to combat that. But either way subscription based psuedo free games (cause you won't own them after is taken out) is a future of gaming I don't want to see. I want devs to convince me to buy, not trying to convince MS/Sony/Epic to be free on their platform. The model also encourages creation of DLCs, as very likely they will earn their typical cut, and that when the game is removed, the players might be tempted to buy the whole game anyway because of the investment.
The Microsoft studios games are always going to be there and that library will continue to increase plus all the games on pc and via xcloud. Microsoft have a reach that wasn’t there in the previous generation and Sony have work to do if they want to match it. Outriders plus this baseball game would cost $140 to buy next gen outright and that’s a chunk of saving on a new console.
 

Digitalzone

Posts: 172   +102
Yeah exactly. People need to realize, every initiative by a for-profit company is to make money. Microsoft's end game for Game Pass is not to be better for gamers, is for the better bottom line. I sometimes don't know why people get sucked into it. Every gamer joked about their giant Steam library and how few of the titles they actually play. So why would your habit be any different when it comes to Game Pass games?


I definitely see the appeal, but hey, Sony can rival Xbox with a service of their own to combat that. But either way subscription based psuedo free games (cause you won't own them after is taken out) is a future of gaming I don't want to see. I want devs to convince me to buy, not trying to convince MS/Sony/Epic to be free on their platform. The model also encourages creation of DLCs, as very likely they will earn their typical cut, and that when the game is removed, the players might be tempted to buy the whole game anyway because of the investment.
Calm down. The huge AAA titles with enormous success will never be a first day subscription title. The profits of sellling GTA V, RDR2 are in different league to some PS exclusive I have never heard off before. The game is anything special I guess, it's just money well spent on marketing and MS plays it well. I see PS fanboys tears.
 

Digitalzone

Posts: 172   +102
The Microsoft studios games are always going to be there and that library will continue to increase plus all the games on pc and via xcloud. Microsoft have a reach that wasn’t there in the previous generation and Sony have work to do if they want to match it. Outriders plus this baseball game would cost $140 to buy next gen outright and that’s a chunk of saving on a new console.
Outriders is poor quality title, exactly that kind of games you see in subscriptions catalogues a lot. It has 75 Critics metascore and 5.8 by users.
Previous iteration of MLB THE SHOW 20 is criticised for the same boredom as another EA sports title.
MLB THE SHOW 20 has 162 user reviews on metascore, while God of War, the premium Sony Exclusive has over 17k reviews. That shows this game wasnt even expensive to get on MS.

It would be interesting to see the numbers behind Game Pass including recent investments in game studios. This especially in the light of Epic bleeding money to buy market share.

Microsoft definitely pulled a great trick here, Game Pass leaves Sony and arguably Nintendo in the dust. Combined with xcloud services running on all kinds of devices the platform potentially has a great future.

It also makes me wonder if Nintendo will partner up with Nvidia to bring a sort of GeForce Now to their consoles.
I dont think they bleed. These titles are not AAA.
 

yukka

Posts: 913   +97
Outriders is poor quality title, exactly that kind of games you see in subscriptions catalogues a lot. It has 75 Critics metascore and 5.8 by users.
Previous iteration of MLB THE SHOW 20 is criticised for the same boredom as another EA sports title.
MLB THE SHOW 20 has 162 user reviews on metascore, while God of War, the premium Sony Exclusive has over 17k reviews. That shows this game wasnt even expensive to get on MS.


I dont think they bleed. These titles are not AAA.

I can only go by my own experience playing Outriders and I think its a good game. I considered buying it on PC until I found that saves are not shared across platforms, so no shared character development between Xbox console and the Epic/Steam versions. Fair enough but I will just play it on Xbox.

I think a good number of those user reviews will be because of the inventory bugs and the nerfs they put out with a recent patch. Personally I am enjoying it and the low user scores aren't affecting my enjoyment of the title at this time.

MLB The Show is a popular game but I have never played it before so I can't comment. I assume its got some enjoyment in there because its still popular.
 

Xclusiveitalian

Posts: 840   +250
People seem to be upset that it's "free" on Game Pass, but to those who are angry fear not... it's not free. You need to pay monthly just to play it and if you stop paying, you can't play.
 

DrSuess

Posts: 79   +42
Does anyone ever play prior year versions of these sports franchise games (I don't play at all, so I really don't know?) If the answer is not really, I can see why the Game Pass approach is a much stronger value.

I have games I like owning because I'll go back and play them again and again - I.e., the Bioshock and Deus Ex franchises - but if I know I'm never going to play '21 again once '22 is out and I can cover a good portion of a whole year's Game Pass subscription with the money I'd pay to buy '21 once - Game Pass it would be for me.
I only play the most recent version of the sports franchise unless the developer has done something that makes gameplay worse.

I tend not to replay games, if I am going to replay something it has to be something special. The only game I have replayed in the last several years was GTA V. If I want to play something that is old I can usually find it for a fraction of the original $50 -$60 price and just buy it.
 

Edster

Posts: 93   +66
Calm down. The huge AAA titles with enormous success will never be a first day subscription title. The profits of sellling GTA V, RDR2 are in different league to some PS exclusive I have never heard off before. The game is anything special I guess, it's just money well spent on marketing and MS plays it well. I see PS fanboys tears.
You are naive to think that. MS has the clout to buy Bethseda, they can eventually have the clout to buy more. They manage to tie EA on to it too. The end game for Microsoft IS to regularly get AAA games on Game Pass on day 1, that's the knock out blow any company wants, through either buying the studios, or getting the big 3rd parties. Why even buy GTA6 elsewhere if is on GamePass, and then offer it for sale after a short period on GP with DLC's locked to the MS store. Give me one reason why MS won't try that, all the companies given the opportunity will do it.

The end game is to make the idea of selling it on Epic, Steam or PS5 an irrelevant question, because they won't be there as an option. There is a lot tricks they can still pull with Game Pass simply because MS is a significantly bigger company than their direct competitors. Think, Game Pass member exclusive discounts on AAA titles. Don't pretend that MS just wants to beat Sony and Nintendo, they see no profit from Epic or Steam either and they want their piece of the pie too.


Finally, leave your fanboyism on the door mate, instead of accusing other people of being one. I own a gaming PC (and has bought from MS directly, GoG, Steam and Epic), Switch and PS5. I have no skin in who wins, in fact, I don't want anyone to win as it will force everyone to make better products. And come on now, the chances of you not even hearing of PS exclusive like The Last of US, even if is for the negative press for the sequel, is laughably low. Next thing you say would be "I haven't heard of Mario" or that "Pokemon is for immature kids."
 

yukka

Posts: 913   +97
You are naive to think that. MS has the clout to buy Bethseda, they can eventually have the clout to buy more. They manage to tie EA on to it too. The end game for Microsoft IS to regularly get AAA games on Game Pass on day 1, that's the knock out blow any company wants, through either buying the studios, or getting the big 3rd parties. Why even buy GTA6 elsewhere if is on GamePass, and then offer it for sale after a short period on GP with DLC's locked to the MS store. Give me one reason why MS won't try that, all the companies given the opportunity will do it.

The end game is to make the idea of selling it on Epic, Steam or PS5 an irrelevant question, because they won't be there as an option. There is a lot tricks they can still pull with Game Pass simply because MS is a significantly bigger company than their direct competitors. Think, Game Pass member exclusive discounts on AAA titles. Don't pretend that MS just wants to beat Sony and Nintendo, they see no profit from Epic or Steam either and they want their piece of the pie too.


Finally, leave your fanboyism on the door mate, instead of accusing other people of being one. I own a gaming PC (and has bought from MS directly, GoG, Steam and Epic), Switch and PS5. I have no skin in who wins, in fact, I don't want anyone to win as it will force everyone to make better products. And come on now, the chances of you not even hearing of PS exclusive like The Last of US, even if is for the negative press for the sequel, is laughably low. Next thing you say would be "I haven't heard of Mario" or that "Pokemon is for immature kids."
You raise good points about the discounts - you can purchase all game pass games with a discount while they are on game pass, so its attractive to anyone who wants to own games too.

EA as well - the standard EA Access vault is thrown in for good measure now which gives you older sports titles and a lot of battlefield and star wars.

And most people aren't paying full price for game pass - I did the deal where you buy three years of game pass for £40 a year via cards then pay £1 to upgrade all three years to game pass ultimate - I have three years of xcloud game streaming, game pass on console, game pass on PC and the titles given out on gold to keep. Works out about £3 a month. Eventually I can see the price going up but look at Netflix and Disney, both raising their subscription fees to cover creation of their own content and going by the quality of the new marvel serials (Wandavision/Falcon and the Winter Soldier) and the quality of the various Netflix serials and films, they are actually worth the money now. Microsoft want to charge £10+ a month and offer a netflix all you can eat gaming experience on any device and they have a headstart over Sony who appear to be dragging their heels buying timed exclusives and offering Playstation Now at a price point no one is really happy with.
 

Chemicalfacist

Posts: 36   +26
Thing is though there are very few games I am willing to play more than once, so the fact I don't own a game I will never play again is a plus. If I really like a game I will buy it, Just like I did with Flight Simulator. I liked it so I bought it.
This ^^^ right here. My wife and I share our games across all platforms. Hell, she is probably more responsible for my gamerscore than I am. Back to the point. She took an interested last Nov in Dragon Age when it came to GamePass. And I explained GamePass games could disappear and she might lose her progress, I wasn't 100% sure on the nature of GamePass saves at the time. But she finished the game and then we bought the DLCs and she finished those last night. So they got MORE than our money out of it. :)