Well, it looks like Tiger Woods and gaming juggernaut EA Sports have ended their relationship as EA looks to move on in a different direction putting Tiger in the rear view mirror. This is a very interesting time for EA to do such a thing since they have announced to postpone releasing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 15 to work on the development of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 16 which has been confirmed for the PS4 and Xbox One barring they resemble the last couple of nightmarish postpones that the NBA Live series went through. Woods has been the the feature star of the iconic video game since EA brought him on board of the virtual golf cruise ship back in 1998-99. It has featured some of golf’s biggest stars and legends such as John Daly, Rory Mcilroy, Anthony Kim, Vijay Singh, Bobby Jones, Old Tom Morris, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, etc. There have also been some of golf’s most legendary golf courses in the game such as the ever beautiful Spyglass Hill which was the first real golf course to be featured in the game until it’s sister course, the iconic Pebble Beach and St.Andrews followed shortly after. The game has featured many fun and interesting things during the time of it’s early years such as exciting mini games and goofy fantasy characters.
There have also been some very interesting fantasy courses that were a lot of fun and EA looks to continue those into the next generation of gaming consoles. Even the music had more variety as there songs by artists such as hip hop legends DMX and Nelly which personally I thought was real cool and made the game much more appealing. From 2006 onward, the game seemed to drop slowly in sales until Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 released which garnered tons of sales despite the many complaints of bugs and glitches. To this date however, it was Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 that seemed to have the most positive responses despite not selling the same amount of copies as Tiger Woods 08 did. Many people still choose Tiger Woods 2004 for the most part though as it was arguably the most feature rich game of the series. Eventually in 2011-2012, the game featured the Holy Grail of golf video games with the Masters tournament and Augusta National being featured in the game for the first time in golf game history. Regardless of the addition of Augusta, there have been complaints of bugs in the latest addition of the game, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 which is the third straight installment in which Augusta has been featured in.
Many fans have also taken to the forums with their suggestions and complaints in order to try to improve the game. Is the steady decline caused by EA focusing a little too much on Tiger rather than the game itself? In some cases, it’s possibly true, and this is why it’s such a huge story. Not only is EA taking a year off to get it’s game ready for the PS4 and Xbox One, but they get rid of their cover star. Could this help EA improve the game and get more fans? It’s very possible because now, since Woods is gone, they can focus on the core gameplay rather than Woods and that will be huge. Not to mention, the PS4 and Xbox One will be a year old by the time the game releases, so they’ll already be more familiar with the software of the console to try to make a great game. Rumors say that the game will have “more customization” and that could possibly mean a course creator which EA’s sometimes partner in crime, HB Studios is working on their own golf game which will indeed include a course creator and will also be featured on the next gen consoles but will release much sooner unless further notice.
This all could mean a lot for golf games because this gives other companies like 2K Sports to really come out and create a great game. A company like Sony who created the very popular MLB The Show series can also step up to the first tee on the virtual golf course. That’s what makes this an exciting story, because I believe that a lot of companies were afraid to tee it up because EA had the power of the “Tiger”. But now that that reign is over, this is a chance for other companies to come out of hiding to start developing golf games. This would be great for golf promotion and golf gaming because it’s hard to promote golf through video games when there’s only one main golf game on the market.
So overall I think this the big step in the right direction if you’re a golf fan who loves golf games. Also, with golf being in the Olympics for 2016, this could possibly mean the addition of some kind of Olympic mode in the game, you just never know. Here’s a link to what EA had to say: http://www.easports.com/tiger-woods/news-updates-gameplay/article/next-gen-golf-statement?sf18842758=1 There’s supposed to be more info on the new Tiger Woods game coming out soon so stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to the GP Golf Report to receive more news and opinions from around the great game of golf. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter as well @ChiGolfRadio!
Colin GP Mieczkowski
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