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Sony Says it was MLB's Decision to Bring MLB The Show 21 to Xbox Game Pass

Sony Says it was MLB's Decision to Bring MLB The Show 21 to Xbox Game Pass - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 06 April 2021 / 1,424 Views

It was announced last week that MLB The Show 21 will be available on Xbox Game Pass for Console and Android on day one - April 20 - for the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. 

A PlayStation representative in a statement to Inverse said the decision to release the once PlayStation exclusive to Xbox consoles and Xbox Game Pass was done by MLB.

"As part of the goal for this year’s game, MLB decided to bring the franchise to more players and baseball fans," said the PlayStation representative.

"This decision provides a unique opportunity to further establish MLB The Show as the premier brand for baseball video games."

Sony Interactive Entertainment when it renewed its license agreement with MLB in late 2019 had agreed to bring the baseball franchise to more platforms. 

Xbox Game Pass as of December 31, 2020, had surpassed 18 million subscribers.

MLB The Show 21 will launch for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on April 20.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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19 Comments
axumblade (on 06 April 2021)

I mean that makes more sense than Sony giving Gamepass access to a game that they charge for on their systems...

  • +7
Mr Puggsly (on 06 April 2021)

I think the real question is does Sony approve of this or is MLB allowed to do whatever they please. If so, maybe MLB is more financially involved than we assume.

  • +4
kazuyamishima Mr Puggsly (on 06 April 2021)

The IP is not from Sony, is from MLB. The announcement of being in more platforms was made in 2019.

  • 0
Mr Puggsly kazuyamishima (on 06 April 2021)

While the IP is not from Sony, they have licensed it. But we've never seen the IP owner make a move like this.

Hence, for many years Sony seemingly paid for the license and they did whatever they wanted with MLB The Show (platform exclusive). Suddenly MLB has a lot of control. I can only assume Sony is okay with this because they benefit financially.

  • +2
Trentonater kazuyamishima (on 07 April 2021)

MLB the Show IP belongs to Sony. The MLB half of that ip is an license that sony holds from MLB. On every store page and every game's title screen you can see the MLB the Show copyright registered to Sony.

  • 0
ice (on 06 April 2021)

should have been obvious

  • +3
mutantsushi (on 06 April 2021)

Licence holders like MLB have alot more interest in boosting their brand to large audience and probably don't really care that much about direct profits from game. Maybe they took an exclusive deal with Sony once when it was just seen as marginal monetization, but once they see it as tool for boosting engagement with entire brand, and they will want it everywhere possible.

  • +3
Imaginedvl mutantsushi (on 06 April 2021)
  • -6
DonFerrari mutantsushi (on 06 April 2021)

I would bet the sports franchises charge a hefty sum to allow the use of their image.

  • +1
DonFerrari (on 06 April 2021)

You don't say.

  • +2
Cerebralbore101 (on 07 April 2021)

If the contract Sony signed with MLB allows this, then Sony has shit negotiation skills. How hard would it be for Sony to have been like... "Oh hey don't put a game we developed on a competitor's service for practically free. It makes our $70 version look bad. So we're gonna need you to add to the contract that it can't go to Gamepass."

  • 0
Dante9 Cerebralbore101 (on 07 April 2021)

Do you think Sony would have agreed to these terms if there was no benefit to them? They don't have exclusivity now, but I guess they get a cut from Microsoft so it is worth it.

  • +1
Cerebralbore101 Dante9 (on 07 April 2021)

Simple. MLB held them at gunpoint saying either agree to our terms or lose the MLB license. In this case Sony folded. Jim Ryan has gone on record saying that Gamepass can't sustain games with budgets of 100 million. So there you have it from the horse's mouth that a cut from Microsoft isn't worth it.

  • +1
Trentonater Cerebralbore101 (on 07 April 2021)

If the deal didn't benefit Sony then they would have just stopped making MLB the Show. MLB needs the series much more than Sony does. If MLB the Show went away then that means there will be several years where MLB has no high quality triple a baseball sim as another dev starts from scratch. Which MLB does want. Presumably it is very lucrative for Sony.

  • 0
Dulfite (on 06 April 2021)

What about Gamepass PC?

  • 0
Imaginedvl (on 06 April 2021)
  • -11
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