Update: Both Nintendo and Microsoft have retweeted the official announcement, indicating that MLB The Show will likely be headed to both of their platforms in the future. Is Stadia hopping on this train too?
Orignal: When it comes to sports games, there are certain specific titles that often dominate their chosen sport. San Diego Studio’s MLB The Show is the flagship Major League Baseball game, officially licensed by the MLB, and uncontested every year as the best game for baseball fans. Coming from a first-party Sony studio, MLB The Show has always been a PlayStation-exclusive title, but that will be changing soon. Sony and MLB today announced an extended partnership that will take MLB The Show multiplatform, and it could happen as soon as 2021.
In addition to extending the MLB The Show licensing partnership that San Diego Studio enjoys, the highly lauded baseball franchise will be available on “additional console platforms beyond PlayStation.” Sony and San Diego Studio will continue the development and distribution of the title each year. Additional details about the expansion of the partnership will be made at a later date. With this going into effect after the PS5 and next-gen Xbox launch and MLB The Show 20 still yet to launch, don’t expect to get too much additional information ahead of first quarter next year.
MLB The Show 20 will celebrate the 15th year of the San Diego Studio series in 2020, and (development hiccups aside) is expected to be the final PlayStation-exclusive MLB The Show game. Sony developing and publishing a game for other platforms is not entirely unprecedented. Minecraft exists on PS4 despite now being published and developed by a Microsoft-owned studio. It’s even getting full cross-play to allow all players to play together. It’s unknown if MLB The Show will enjoy similar perks once it goes multiplatform, but with more and more titles breaking those console boundaries, it’s hard to imagine that it wouldn’t.
We’ve previously speculated about the possibility of “consoles as a service” and the idea that exclusives are becoming more about ecosystems than they are about specific consoles. This MLB The Show multiplatform deal shows that Sony is thinking beyond its own borders. Maybe soon they’ll consider approaching Stadia with ecosystem strategies that extend beyond the PlayStation platform.