Back in January, when I was recording my role as "PA Announcer" in Sony's MLB The Show 20, I never imagined a season like this.
Nationwide stay-at-home orders.
The sports world on-hold.
But I'm proud, because the latest installment of the venerable video game franchise has been a bright light for baseball fans across the globe.
In this otherwise uncertain time, MLB The Show 20 has become the fastest selling game in the history of the franchise. It's gained more eyes (and ears!) than ever thanks to Major League player involvement and network television exposure. And the game is routinely updated to ensure the most realistic gameplay experience for users.
Let's take a deeper look at this love for the game...
Record Game Sales
Released on March 17th, MLB The Show 20 shot up the standings as the best-selling video game on PlayStation 4 for the month. It debuted at the number-three spot overall behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Xbox One, PS4) and Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo Switch) according to research firm NPD Group:
"MLB The Show 20 launched to the highest debut month sales in its history."
Game purchases as a whole have experienced a 34% increase over the same month last year, and in just two-weeks time, MLB The Show 20 became the fifth-best selling video game for 2020 across all consoles.
All of this on top of an already incredible 2019--my first year with the franchise--when MLB The Show officially claimed the title of "best-selling baseball genre game in U.S. history."
Major League TV Exposure
On what would've been the 2020 season's Opening Day, I spoke with KUSI-TV/San Diego's Brandon Stone about how video gaming was taking a front seat as sports entertainment, given the lack of live baseball.
This evolution has continued as Major League Baseball hosted an MLB The Show 20 tournament--dubbed the "Players League"--featuring 30 players from 30 clubs competing against each other in a 29-game round-robin season. Games were broadcast across streaming platforms such as Facebook Live, YouTube, and Twitch, as well as traditional networks like ESPN, ESPN2, MLB Network, and FS1.
That's a lot of new opportunities for my voice to be heard nationwide!
Speaking of voices, one of the breakout stars of the Players League was our own Padres shortstop, Fernando Tatis, Jr., where his on-field exuberance translated across the cyberspace diamond as well.
In another form of streamed and televised entertainment, teams like the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, and San Diego Padres are lending in-house play-by-play and analysis to MLB The Show 20 simulations, providing more familiarity for fans, and another level of realism in baseball's absence.
Unsatisfied with their success, Sony San Diego Studio continually hones and refines the user experience in MLB The Show, making the game as lifelike as possible. To date, there have been ten such updates that have included a variety of gameplay improvements.
Update 1.06 featured new-and-improved player introductions. In lieu of studio access, I improvised and quickly rigged up a way to record these in a live voiceover session from home.
Challenges can become opportunities, and the ability to pivot during this time is a key to success.
Between its overall production, continuous fine-tuning, and adaptation to the times, MLB The Show is a colossal effort. And now more than ever, it's appreciated and enjoyed by a tremendous amount of baseball enthusiasts.
I'm honored to be a part of this endeavor.
Let's play ball. ⚾️
Alex's wide range of work in Sony's MLB The Show franchise can be seen in this Video Game Demo.
You can also find Alex online here: