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Game Pass vs $70: The ‘MLB The Show’ Xbox Deal Is A Bad Look For Sony [Forbes article]

Feb 7, 2018
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Yesterday, Microsoft shocked the gaming world when they announced that MLB: The Show 21, formerly a PlayStation exclusive franchise, was coming to Xbox Game Pass on launch day.


It was already known that The Show 21 would be released on Xbox, but to have that flip from being PlayStation exclusive since 2006 to “free” on Game Pass is a wild switch, and right now, all of this is an extremely bad look for Sony, more so than the usual “Game Pass has X new release” situation.
Microsoft has always tried to force this advantage over Sony, especially this generation, where Game Pass looks like a good alternative to full-priced games, but usually it’s comparing things like Gears 5 or Sea of Thieves to God of War or Ghost of Tsushima. Sort of apples and oranges and fans could make the argument that those games are “worth” full price on PlayStation, and are just better games in general. But here, this is an example of the same game, where Sony, who made the game, is listing it at $70 on PlayStation while Xbox players simply get it with Game Pass. That’s wild. This sort of happened with Ouriders too, another third party game Xbox snatched up for a Game Pass launch while Sony is selling it at full price, but the difference there is that a Sony studio didn’t make Outriders.

 

DJTHEGREY

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Sony got paid for it to be on gamepass I'm sure... It gives gamepass subscribers like myself who never played it to see how great it is and possibly by it once it's eventually not on gamepass any longer. In the long term will likely be good for sony expanding the fan base for that game along with xbox possibly increasing the popularity and benifits of gamepass. So.... Win win for everyone?
 

SlimySnake

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Open, see "contributor", closes window
and yet you still log on to gaf to read stuff from hundreds if not thousands of random users.

Not to mention, this contributer has been writing for forbes for over 10 years now, and has his reviews published on metacritic and rotten tomatoes.

that said, nice edgy post. you are just a decade too late.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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My condolences to all players who will need to pay $70 for this game.
I cant wait to play The Show. Last time was on PS2 and even then it was the best baseball game I'd ever played. Only problem was I kept getting my games to freeze at the 7th inning or later so it got to a point I said fuck it. No point wasting 20 minutes if the game is going to bomb out half the time.

Not sure what the issue was. It wasnt my PS2 as it was a tank and never had issues with any other game.

Like many I did the 3 year $1 GPU top up. ($1.13 with tax).

So I'll estimate out of that $1.13, this game might be about a nickels worth considering all the games I've played on GP the past year and a half. lol

OK MS, Sony and MLB. Feel free to splice up my 5 cents how you want.
 
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Genx3

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Not sure why its such a bad look for Sony and PlayStation owners.
Play Station owners knew they were going to have to buy if they wanted to play it any way.

It's not like Sony has ever launched any 1st party game Day 1 on their service.

Nothing has changed for Play Station gamers.

Still get the game day 1.
At the normal price of all 1st party Sony games that you already knew you were going to pay before the PS5 launched of $70.

Not sure why people are making a big deal out of nothing. You all knew that PS exclusives on day 1 were going to cost $70 and if you still bought a PS5 (especially the DE) then you were ok with that.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Not sure why its such a bad look for Sony and PlayStation owners.
Play Station owners knew they were going to have to buy if they wanted to play it any way.

It's not like Sony has ever launched any 1st party game Day 1 on their service.

Nothing has changed for Play Station gamers.

Still get the game day 1.
At the normal price of all 1st party Sony games that you already knew you were going to pay before the PS5 launched of $70.

Not sure why people are making a big deal out of nothing. You all knew that PS exclusives on day 1 were going to cost $70 and if you still bought a PS5 (especially the DE) then you were ok with that.
It is a big deal.

A product that is going to a competing service for the first time is not only $10 cheaper to buy it, but for millions of GP people already on the service, this game is added at no extra charge.

And it's even cross play. So the GP people will even play with the Sony gamers who paid full price. lol

In a way, you can say this is kind of similar to cell phone and cable providers competing for service. If you're an existing customer you get regular price or a shitty ongoing discount of 15% off a bundled service pack.

But that guy down the street who is using a competing provider just got offered by your cable provider a sweet 50% off deal and zero fee router and cable box to hook him in, while you (being a loyal customer for 10 years) is paying more than him.

Sony gamers are the existing customer. Just got to accept the fact competing customers will get a better deal to hook them in.
 
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Stuart360

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Not sure why its such a bad look for Sony and PlayStation owners.
Play Station owners knew they were going to have to buy if they wanted to play it any way.

It's not like Sony has ever launched any 1st party game Day 1 on their service.

Nothing has changed for Play Station gamers.

Still get the game day 1.
At the normal price of all 1st party Sony games that you already knew you were going to pay before the PS5 launched of $70.

Not sure why people are making a big deal out of nothing. You all knew that PS exclusives on day 1 were going to cost $70 and if you still bought a PS5 (especially the DE) then you were ok with that.
You're right in the sense that nothing has actually changed for PS5 owners, they had to buy the game before this news, and they still have to buy the game after.
But from a publicity and PR angle, this looks awful for Playstation. Not only have they had to release one of their long time exclusives onto Xbox, but its also coming 'free' to Gamepass, while PS gamers have to spend at least $70 for the same game.
Microsoft couldnt of bought this kind of PR if they tried (although they technically did in a sense). Hense the reaction from the internet over this, and some of the fanboy meltdowns on this forum.
 
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odhiex

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Do people stop buying games at full price after the price hike at $70?

I have pre-ordered/bought a few games (2-3 games a year) that I couldn't wait to play at launch, but mostly I waited for sales.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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You're right in the sense that nothing has actually changed for PS5 owners, they had to but the game before this news, and they still have to buy the game after.
But from a publicity and PR angle, this looks awful for Playstation. Not only have they had to release one of their long time exclusives onto Xbox, but its also coming 'free' to Gamepass, while PS gamers have to spend at least $70 for the same game.
Microsoft couldnt of bought this kind of PR if they tried (although they technically did in a sense). Hense the reaction from the internet over this, and some of the fanboy meltdowns on this forum.
The baseball franchise only sells about 1 million copies per year too. So it's not like a 5 or 10 or 20 million copy game. Even when PS4 hit 100 million consoles the past few years, it still sold 1 million per year. So it shows the franchise is actually declining if sales can't even keep up with PS4 console growth which was a good 10-20 million more consoles per year.

The amount of money MS paid for GP service will be peanuts. Anyone thinking MS paid a boatload of money to offer GP is crazy.

Regardless, Sony took the cash.
 
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Stuart360

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The baseball franchise only sells about 1 million copies per year too. So it's not like a 5 or 10 or 20 million copy game.

The amount of money MS paid for GP service will be peanuts. Anyone thinking MS paid a boatload of money to offer GP is crazy.

Regardless, Sony took the cash.
Oh i mean i'll be surprised if they paid more than a couple of million for it to be on Gamepass, which is nothing for this kind of PR. They would of probably paid ten times that amount if they could forsee the fallout this was going to have lol.
 

farmerboy

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Great marketing/move from MS on this one. Sony will be forced to follow I think.

Should MS continue to pull this move, then longer term Sony will have to answer Gamepass.

Longer still, MS may rue the day they forced Sony's hand. A Sony Gamepass with their own 1st party would be a tough opponent for MS.

Disclaimer: I dont really like the idea of gamepass as I'm unsure of the longer term consequences of it. Remember, when something's too good to be true.......
 

harmny

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The baseball franchise only sells about 1 million copies per year too. So it's not like a 5 or 10 or 20 million copy game. Even when PS4 hit 100 million consoles the past few years, it still sold 1 million per year. So it shows the franchise is actually declining if sales can't even keep up with PS4 console growth which was a good 10-20 million more consoles per year.

The amount of money MS paid for GP service will be peanuts. Anyone thinking MS paid a boatload of money to offer GP is crazy.

Regardless, Sony took the cash.
Sony? You mean the mlb
 
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Shmunter

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Those that know about this will be hesitant to buy. The games perceived value is non existent and doesn’t live in a vacuum.

Those still waiting on next gen may opt for XsX now instead of PS5.
 

Neo Blaster

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Who knows.

Have you seen the contract that says Sony has to make their game on Xbox and also allow GP on it?
Who knows? It's a well known story Sony had to comply to keep the MLB licensing. And as I said before, MLB is the publisher on Xbox, they can do whatever they want with the port.
 
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ReBurn

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The fact that Microsoft managed to get a game developed by Sony first party on Gamepass day one while Sony sells the same game for full price on PS5 is a bloody nose for Sony. Sure the diehards will downplay it and say it's no big deal, but the fact remains that Xbox gamers can play the game for $10 and PS5 gamers will pay $70. With it being a yearly sports game it's the least collectible type of game there is, so the appearance of value is obvious. It was a clever maneuver.

If Microsoft somehow manages to get more third party games to come to Gamepass day 1 then Sony could find themselves in an awkward position where the only reason to have a PS5 is to play first party games. Granted, they are some of the best games going. But it will be an interesting juxtaposition. Pay $500 for a PS5 plus full price for every first party game and third party game. Or pay $500 for an Xbox and the cost of about two games per year for all first party games and some strong third party games. I'm probably wrong. But it will be interesting to see if it plays out this way.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Who knows? It's a well known story Sony had to comply to keep the MLB licensing. And as I said before, MLB is the publisher on Xbox, they can do whatever they want with the port.
Thats not how publishing works. Just because you have publishing rights doesn't mean you can do whatever you want. It has to be in the contract what is involved ad what the publisher is allowed to do.

Activision has publishing rights to songs for those old Guitar Hero games. That's as far as it goes unless they have deals with artists to also allow them to dump it all on sub plans, make Guitar Hero Metallica coffee mugs and various product extensions.
 

Blond

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Rent the game vs own it, yes, such a hard concept especially considering that the MLB is the one calling the shots on what to do with the license.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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The fact that Microsoft managed to get a game developed by Sony first party on Gamepass day one while Sony sells the same game for full price on PS5 is a bloody nose for Sony. Sure the diehards will downplay it and say it's no big deal, but the fact remains that Xbox gamers can play the game for $10 and PS5 gamers will pay $70. With it being a yearly sports game it's the least collectible type of game there is, so the appearance of value is obvious. It was a clever maneuver.

If Microsoft somehow manages to get more third party games to come to Gamepass day 1 then Sony could find themselves in an awkward position where the only reason to have a PS5 is to play first party games. Granted, they are some of the best games going. But it will be an interesting juxtaposition. Pay $500 for a PS5 plus full price for every first party game and third party game. Or pay $500 for an Xbox and the cost of about two games per year for all first party games and some strong third party games. I'm probably wrong. But it will be interesting to see if it plays out this way.
You can already see Sony opening up the offers to get people to get into PS5.

They had that 15 game PS5 collection, and recently did that announcement for another 9 free games. PS5 is going to be a sell out regardless ad they still gave that collection of games away as a value play. Sony has never been this generous.
 

Chris_Rivera

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Good. Sony getting beat will always be good for competition. Pushing $70 games and not having a good subscription option might work for the AAA PS5 exclusives, if it’s the only option for such games. Once such games can be had elsewhere, it’s over.

Gamepass is still not free.
 

Neo Blaster

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Thats not how publishing works. Just because you have publishing rights doesn't mean you can do whatever you want. It has to be in the contract what is involved ad what the publisher is allowed to do.

Activision has publishing rights to songs for those old Guitar Hero games. That's as far as it goes unless they have deals with artists to also allow them to dump it all on sub plans, make Guitar Hero Metallica coffee mugs and various product extensions.
You keep forgetting they own the rights and licensing besides being the publisher, hence they can do whatever they want with the port.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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You keep forgetting they own the rights and licensing besides being the publisher, hence they can do whatever they want with the port.
As I said before, this series only sells a million copies. There's not even a lot of money in this game to begin with compared to other game franchises.

But the reason why Sony still did it (making an Xbox version with GP access on day one) is because they got money to make it worth it.