If you didn’t know, the once PlayStation exclusive title MLB The Show, is going multiplatform. Still developed and published by San Diego Studio and PlayStation, MLB The Show 21 will come to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S & Xbox one on April 20th 2021.
In a surprising announcement though, the Xbox versions of the title will be coming to Xbox Game Pass on release day. You will be able to play MLB The Show 21 on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, as well as on Android phones and tablets via Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) for Game Pass Ultimate members.
While this is a big announcement, some longstanding PlayStation fans may feel they are getting a raw deal. But, in my opinion, this is only beneficial to both the brand and PlayStation. Getting MLB The Show in the hands of even more baseball fans, can generate more money for development and production. Hopefully it will also allow San Diego Studio to make more robust features and gameplay improvements. This move to bring it to Xbox Game Pass, has no doubt been of financial gain to the MLB & PlayStation, who are the licencor and publisher of the game. With an undisclosed fee to bring the title to the service, it is unknown how long the inclusion of the title will last on the service.
This moves also further cements the mindset of Xbox and their continued goal of highlighting games and allowing more gamers to play titles they may not normally play, at a monthly or yearly fee. Xbox are aiming to get more subscriptions, with over 18 million subs currently signed up. While adding first party content is easier to clear, the negotiation to include AAA & indie third party games, as well as classic titles to the service, continues to generate interest in Game Pass, in-turn, generates a constant revenue stream
This model has seen huge success in the movie and TV industry, with the likes of Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max and Disney+ all getting boosts in subscribers, allowing them to make exclusive deals or content for their services. While many of these projects are garnering critical and financial success, they are even being nominated and winning high-end awards in recent years.
While PlayStation have their own game catalogue subscription service called PS Now, it does need some work to compete with Xbox Game Pass. Only having around 2 million subscribers, a restructure of PS Now to bring even more first party content, legacy titles, adding more choice to download or stream games and even an option to bundle it with the PS Plus service, PlayStation Now could become as appealing as any service.
Time will tell if Sony have something major to announce for PlayStation Now, but expect some more big inclusions to Xbox Game Pass in the coming months.