It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
EA Sports Drop Tiger Woods after 14 Years
He has been the face of their brand for 14 years, but EA Sports has finally decided to end their partnership with Tiger Woods, meaning the world number one will no longer front their golf simulation video games.
EA Sports has been Tiger’s longest-standing sponsors, spanning an epic 14-year reign. EA announced on Tuesday that they are ending the deal which put Tiger's name and face on the boxes of their top-selling games, despite the 16 games in the series raking in £479 million for the US-based publisher.
The numbers here are staggering: Tiger’s video games have grossed almost half a billion pounds, with the player’s cut of that estimated at as much as £10million a year.
Daryl Holt, EA’s head of games, said: "EA Sports and Tiger Woods have also made a mutual decision to end our partnership, which includes Tiger's named PGA Tour golf game.
"We’ve always been big fans of Tiger and we wish him continued success in all his future endeavors."
This is a huge decision from EA. By pulling the plug on this deal they are effectively ending a wonderful partnership, one which has given them the ability to make golf simulations for over 20 years, with the fondly-remembered original PGA Tour Golf on the PC, Amiga and Megadrive first hitting shelves in 1990.
Success really grew for the games company when Woods’ face was plastered on the front of the box in “Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’99” on the Playstation. It became an instant hit and a cash cow which to this day has still not stopped giving.
Aside from the odd tweaks in game play and the very obvious leaps in graphics with the introductions of more powerful consoles and PC’s, Tiger Woods golf games have been head and shoulders above the opposition. But could this switch of direction derail the series as the top-selling golf video game?
Despite the very public problems both on and off the golf course that has plagued Tiger in recent times, EA Sports has stuck by their man, even when other sponsors were abandoning him to save face. However, it looks like the company have new plans to instigate, with Daryl Holt adding: "EA Sports golf fans have always loved authentic courses and players, but they've also asked for more choice and customization in how and where they play. We're working on a new approach."
What exactly that new approach will be is anyone’s guess at this time, but there’s much hope that the games series is not damaged by dropping one of the most iconic golfers of all time from their brand.