Major League Baseball will use crowd sounds from Sony’s MLB The Show video game series when games begin in empty stadiums next week, according to a report by ESPN.
With the shortened 2020 MLB season finally starting up next Thursday, July 23, the stadiums still won’t allow fans in the seats due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But with crowd sounds, players will still have simulated noise as they play.
“There was some reticence when you first talk about crowd noise in an empty ballpark because you don’t want to do something that is distracting,” said Chris Marinak, MLB’s executive vice president for strategy, technology, and innovation. “It is heard in a way that is natural with the play of the game and on field. The sounds do match what is happening.”
England’s Premier League and Spain’s La Liga soccer leagues were the first to use video game sound effects when they returned to action recently.
ESPN said the sounds will also be audible on radio and television, so the simulated sound should be available for all to hear.
ESPN announcer Matt Vasgersian, who lends his voice talent to the MLB The Show series along with live baseball games on the air, said he hopes it’ll “still make the viewing experience feel right at home.”
This baseball season will undoubtedly be weird. But with the crowd sound supplied from the games everyone has been playing to fill their baseball voids, maybe it’ll be a little less awkward for the players when they hit the field.
Earlier in the year, some MLB stars participated in a league in MLB The Show 20. Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell won it all.