Best-selling video games in the U.S. for April led by MLB the Show 21

MLB The Program 21, that made an historic cross-platform launching on Xbox One and Xbox Series X this year, was the top-selling video game in the United States in April, according to NPD.

NPD’s April ranking, discussed on Thursday early morning by expert Mat Piscatella, is based upon in-store physical sales and sales of complete digital titles on the 3 console makers’ stores, plus Steam. In MLB The Program 21’s case, however, it does not consist of whatever the title offered on the Microsoft Shop. NPD doesn’t state why, however it might be connected to the choice to release the video game in the Xbox Video game Pass library.

Even then, MLB The Program 21’s efficiency was still sufficient to exceed Call of Task: Black Ops: Cold War, whose franchise is regularly the month’s leading seller even half a year after launch. Baseball likewise got rid of New Pokémon Snap, the next-best offering brand-new title for April.

To provide a little context of why this is so significant, the last time there was a multiplatform, MLB-licensed simulation design computer game, 2K Sports’ MLB 2K series never ever came close to No. 1 for sales in its launch month, and had problem even breaking the leading 10. Moreover, back when Xbox’s Significant Nelson would keep a regular monthly track of the 360’s leading 20 video games by variety of gamers, MLB 2K might never ever be discovered on the list, where its associates in FIFA, the NBA, and the NFL were regularly leading 10, even in their sports’ off-seasons.

The MLB 2K series was burdened with a terrible reputation after Take-Two’s leadership shut down Kush Games in 2008 and sent MLB 2K9 to Visual Concepts to develop in nine months; the rush job left many baseball fans playing a litany of performance errors and gameplay glitches.

2K Sports held a quasi-exclusive license from MLB from 2005 to 2013, making it the lead developer for the sport on consoles — but a first-party exception to the contract allowed SIE San Diego Studio to continue with what became The Show, developing it as a PlayStation exclusive.

2K Sports and Take-Two Interactive walked away from the license after publishing MLB 2K13 for PlayStation 3, Windows PC, and Xbox 360. The Xbox platform went without a sim-quality MLB game for the entirety of the Xbox One’s lifespan. An unusual agreement, brokered by the league at the end of 2019, allowed for the development of Sony’s MLB The Show series for Xbox this year, with other platforms assumed to follow.

NPD’s figures are for copies of the game; MLB The Show 21 has an open-ended microtransaction revenue stream through its Diamond Dynasty mode, an Ultimate Team, card-collection style game introduced a decade ago. At its Investor Relations Day held just Thursday, Sony told shareholders that MLB The Show 21 had the “Highest paying user spend of any sports title in the US PS Store,” measured since that game’s April 20 launch.

While that’s a short span, for a newly launched game, it still means MLB The Show 21’s revenue on PlayStation outpaced that seen by giants like NBA 2K21’s MyTeam or FIFA 21’s Ultimate Team. Those video games launched last fall, however their real-world equivalents are still in-season.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.