Tiger Woods and EA Sports End Partnership, What This Could Mean for Virtual Golf

A picture of arguably the coolest cover in the history of the franchise with Tiger Woods (left) representing the U.S. and Rory Mcilroy repping Europe.

A picture of arguably the coolest cover in the history of the franchise with Tiger Woods (left) representing the U.S. and Rory Mcilroy repping Europe.

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.

EA Sports has been the exclusive developer of PGA Tour golf games for almost 30 years.

EA Sports has been the exclusive developer of PGA Tour golf games for almost 30 years.

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.

This panda looks kind of excited about what's going on don't you think?

This panda looks kind of excited about what’s going on don’t you think?

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!

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Colin GP Mieczkowski

Colin Mieczkowski is the Editor-in-chief of the award winning GP Golf Report. He hails from Chicago,IL and is a big Chicago sports fan (Except the Cubs, sorry. Chi Sox baby). His writing journey began when he used to write in his notebook and write free verse poems. Later, he created a blog that covered Chicago sports, golf and video games (Weird combination) but decided to just focus on his main passion of golf. That's when the GP Golf Report was born and since its humble beginnings, the blog has reached well over 100,000 unique visitors and continues to grow. He also has built a love for golf course design and is a lover of "Street Golf" which is practically how he picked up the game. Colin is also a video game YouTuber as well. He goes by the name "GhostPanda" on there. You can click the YouTube symbol to check him out. Follow him on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio and add him as a friend on Facebook!
4 comments
JohnDaddyo
JohnDaddyo

Didn't take long for someone to hint at the possibility that Tiger Woods himself, might have been the cause for ea's sloppy work and shameful support.Can't wait to see Mike Devault or, Sean Wilson or, Handsward, etc, etc smiling, hey guys, I'm your new best friend faces humping the new energy and focus in to the game. With Tiger gone, ea will have a bigger budget to make the game better?? They will not. The "focus" has never been on the technical aspects of golf. It's always been wasted on offline features. Any changes made will be because they have been forced by a very angry community. By the way, why didn't you show a clip of this GTA 5 Golf?? Peace IN!

Colin
Colin

Yezzir John, it's going to be interesting to see no doubt and like I said this may open doors for other companies to tee it up as well! And don't worry, with the power of editing, I will definitely put a video of GTA 5's golf in there! Sadly it won't be my own footage though if that's what you're looking for. I'll have a video up nonetheless! ;)

JohnDaddyo
JohnDaddyo

Iss okay about the GTA 5 golf video. I ended up seeing it somewhere. ALMOST thought about buying the game just for some of the sports angles but, I see that you have to "earn" your way in :(

Colin
Colin

Oh, it doesn't take long to access the sports in the game. It's esspecially easy to get it online. Online, all you need to do is reach level 6 and boom! Golf, tennis, etc! Thanks for being a regular on the site John! Means a lot!

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