For the first time, the popular baseball simulation MLB The Show will be available for multiple platforms with MLB The Show 21. After years of being a PlayStation exclusive, MLB The Show 21 will release on both Xbox and PlayStation. Now, less than a month away from release, MLB The Show 21 Xbox versions will reportedly be published by the MLB, not PlayStation.
Despite being developed by Sony’s San Diego Studio, the Xbox versions of MLB The Show 21 will be published by the MLB. Sony San Diego has been at the head of MLB The Show development since 2006, but with the title becoming available on multiple platforms, the publishing of the title has also changed.
After MLB The Show 21 was announced for Game Pass on day one, some fans wondered how the title can be shipped to Xbox’s streaming service so early if the title is developed by its main competitor. According to video game industry analyst and Twitter user Benji-Sales, the MLB will only publish the game on Xbox, and PlayStation will publish the title on its platform. Many fans may also question what deal was made to validate two separate publishers for a title that was developed by Sony.
Because the MLB owns its IP, some may assume that the MLB had bargaining power to get the title on multiple platforms. One of the requirements may have been for the MLB to take on the publishing role, which may involve the MLB paying for distribution, and possibly paying San Diego Studio for development of the Xbox port. The deal between the MLB and PlayStation has remained private, so the monetary details of development and publishing are unclear.
It seems that the MLB has been quietly publishing the title since its announcement, however, its full role is not known. It is possible that the MLB is funding pre-release advertising of Xbox versions, which may explain why early into marketing for the title, the Xbox versions had been advertising MLB The Show 21 with the wrong box art. While the MLB handling publishing for the title may be confusing, the release of MLB The Show 21 will be exciting history for the franchise, especially since MLB The Show 21 will be cross-platform as well.
The next-gen version of the title will also release with some exclusive features. On both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, MLB The Show 21 will have 4K 60 fps gameplay, and will feature a stadium creator mode. In less than a month, players will be able to jump into MLB The Show 21 to create their own player, stadium, or team, and play ball.
MLB The Show 21 is releasing on April 20 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.