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Sony's MLB: The Show 21 on Xbox Game Pass was an MLB decision

MLB looking to expand the potential of its video game

MLB: The Show 21 is on Xbox Game Pass due to a request from the licence holder, Sony has said.

The baseball game is made by Sony's San Diego studio, and has been an exclusive to PlayStation platforms for 15 years.

However, in 2019 the licence was up for renewal and MLB requested the game is released on more platforms in an effort to widen the franchise's reach. But more than that, the game has also appeared on Xbox's Game Pass subscription service, a decision that was also down to MLB.

"As part of the goal for this year's game, MLB decided to bring the franchise to more players and baseball fans," the company told Inverse. "This decision provides a unique opportunity to further establish MLB The Show as the premier brand for baseball video games."

It's not common to see a PlayStation first-party game appear on other platforms, but the tactic has been successful in the past for its rivals. Microsoft's Minecraft, for instance, is one of the most popular third-party games on Nintendo Switch.

Meanwhile, sports games can be hugely lucrative, with the NBA 2K, FIFA and Madden franchises generating significant income for Take-Two and EA. Indeed, the commercial potential of this genre saw a bidding war erupt between Take-Two and EA over F1 game developer Codemasters. In that context, MLB's interest in reaching more players via Game Pass and other platforms makes sense, and it's something Sony could benefit from, too.