While sports simulations and video games have gone together like peanut butter and jelly for the existence of the art form, some might argue that things have not been so great for fans of professional baseball. Twenty years ago, gamers had choices from the major console manufacturers as well as third-party publishers, though these options dried up in the last decade due to exclusivity deals and the like. Baseball games were once fertile ground but have slowly become a barren desert, save for Sony’s MLB: The Show franchise.
While Take-Two had an exclusive deal to produce MLB games as a third-party licensor about a decade ago, they opted to leave the market in 2012, leaving Xbox and PC players with no pro baseball game. MLB still allowed console manufacturers to develop games for their platforms, so Sony continued on with MLB: The Show and polished it into an outstanding title, despite a total lack of competition.
Fast forward to 2021 and Major League Baseball wanted to expand its reach to digital audiences. This meant that The Show would now be available outside of Sony’s ecosystem. The game made its maiden voyage on Microsoft consoles this year, bringing legit baseball action to console players for the first time in ages.
While MLB: The Show 21 is a cross-generational affair that remains largely unchanged from last year’s game, that foundation was rock solid, leading to a wonderful debut for the franchise on Xbox consoles. Not only that, but the game supports crossplay with PlayStation consoles, massively expanding the potential player base.
Finally, Microsoft ponied up the cheddar to ensure that MLB: The Show 21 was available for Xbox Game Pass subscribers on launch day. They understood they had a quality title and ensured it could get in front of the most people. Congrats to both Sony and Microsoft for the stellar release and we hope that we get to see more of MLB: The Show on PC and possibly Nintendo Switch in 2022.