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Gamification of Baseball: What Is the Purpose?

Recently, Minecraft has added the first official sports add-on—MLB Home Run Derby. This is a mini-game by The Misfit Society, featuring licensed stadiums for all 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) clubs. Baseball is not the most obvious choice from the European perspective, but it is a very popular sport in the United States, China, Japan, and South Korea. In recent years, MLB is seeing a decline in attendance/traffic (-10% in the last 10 years) and interest in the game. The deal with Minecraft is an attempt to lure a young audience.

However, this is not the first attempt taken by the Baseball League. Except for the baseball-themed slot simulators offered by the best casino online in Canada, there are a bunch of decent examples of cooperation between the MLB and game developers. Let’s have a look at the brightest example.

MLB The Show 21 Review

In February 2021, Sony Interactive Entertainment and the development company SIE San Diego released a fresh edition of their baseball emulators MLB The Show 21 on the official PS Blog. As promised back in December 2019, the game had to be launched not only on PlayStation but on other consoles as well. The full list of them looks as follows:

  • PS4;
  • PS5;
  • Xbox One;
  • Xbox Series X and S.

Experts analyzed the versions of the game for graphics quality and performance and delivered their verdict. All versions of the game run at an unlocked frame rate, limited only by vertical sync at 60fps. On Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, the game is played in 4K (2160p).

The real difference appears during the various scenes of the game, where Sony San Diego shows better graphics. The frame rate during such moments is reduced in all versions. But on the Xbox Series X, the performance drops more than on the PlayStation 5—by about 9-11 fps.

Among the key advantages of the simulator is the cross-platform multiplayer and the possibility to transfer the user’s data between PS and Xbox consoles of both generations. Besides, the game promises “even more dynamic, detailed and intense game situations”, as well as updates to the Road to the Show (story campaign), Franchise, and March to October modes.

Why Do They Invest in the Gamification?

By analogy with FIFA, MLB expects to earn on the game series to remain in black in 2021 and keep in touch with its fans. By the way, according to the report, FIFA earned $267 million in 2020, of which the majority—almost $159 million—came from the sale of licensing rights for video games, that is, the FIFA series of football simulators.

The total income turned out to be 7% higher than the projected amount, so FIFA will not change the financial plan for the cycle from 2019 to 2022, despite the problems with organizing and holding large football tournaments due to the pandemic. The amount of revenue for four years should reach 6.44 billion dollars.