After a very rocky relationship in the past few years, EA Sports and Tiger Woods have decided to call it quits. Tiger Woods will no longer be the face of EA’s popular PGA Tour franchise.
The publisher broke the news early Monday saying that the decision was “mutual” between both parties. They wished Woods — who has been seeking an elusive 15th major win for quite some time — well, and said the team has always been a fan of his.
This news shouldn’t come as a shock to most PGA Tour fans, as the franchise has slowly been distancing itself from Woods in more recent iterations. After the golfer’s personal affairs began to impact his professional persona, EA decided it best to pair Tiger with other prominent players in the sport, like Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy. EA Sports even nixed Woods’ cover appearance altogether for PGA Tour ’12, instead putting the focus on the first appearance of the Masters tournament.
Some might say that these changes were brought on by Woods’ public perception, but the truth is the franchise has also been waning in recent years. The sport and the games aren’t quite what they were a few years ago, when Tiger was dominating the field, so perhaps it was time to make some budgetary concessions.
Nevertheless, the series, as a whole, has been defined by the presence of Tiger Woods as its namesake and on its covers. Without him, EA Sports will have to place the attention on lesser names that may or may not be a draw.
The good news, though, is that the PGA Tour franchise will continue; this will not be a NCAA Football situation. And to give gamers some idea of what they can expect from the first next-gen PGA Tour title, EA released a comparison screenshot (seen below).
At a glance, the visuals in this next-gen version look like a big leap forward for the franchise. It’s obviously too early to tell just from one screenshot, but the potential for EA Sports to do some incredible things, visually, is there. Of the EA Sports franchises, PGA Tour has the fewest amount of moving parts, which leaves room for the developer to provide a lot of detail and realism.
Say what you will about Woods, but while there is a certain amount of prestige to being named cover athlete for any sports franchise, it’s the brand and the gameplay that keep fans coming back year after year. Sure, there may be some confusion among the casual gamers, but if next year’s game is good enough they will eventually find it.
How do you feel about EA Sports dropping Tiger Woods from the PGA Tour franchise? Will that impact your interest in the games moving forward?
Source: EA Sports
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