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PGA Tour Series Is Returning Under EA Sports

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Developer EA Sports is making a return to the greens by bringing back its PGA Tour series, a staple of EA sports games from 1999 to 2015. Formally known as Tiger Woods PGA Tour when the legendary golfer was in a long-term deal with EA, the series featured multiple brands and tournaments famous in the golfing community. Players were able to create a custom golfer and compete against the world's top pro golfers, similar to other sports games under the EA Sports umbrella.

EA's golfing simulator went on hiatus after its last game, Rory McIlroy PGA Tour. That entry was the first since 1999 to use another golfer's name and likeness to promote the series. While its additions, like an expanded course structure that allowed for out-of-bounds play, were welcome additions, it cut significant parts of the game from previous entries. Since then, 2K Games took up the PGA license with its own golf sim series. 2K recently announced a new deal with Tiger Woods that will exclusively feature his name and likeness in future PGA Tour 2K games.

This seems to have sparked a response at EA. Its own PGA Tour return announcement was made on the EA Sports Twitter page on Monday, with more information set to come soon. An official website has also been revealed, where people can sign up for PGA Tour email updates. The site states that players can expect to participate in THE PLAYERS Championship and FedExCup Playoffs in-game, as well as all "the sights, sounds, and thrills of the PGA TOUR." No further developer comment or expected release date for the first game in the reboot series have been released at publication time.

Earlier this year, EA announced the return of another long-running franchise in the College Football series, formally known as NCAA Football. Many were excited at the prospect of returning to arguably the best football series in gaming, but many obstacles remain. An NCAA name, likeness, and image rule, which could allow college players to profit from their appearance in media like video games for the first time, is a deciding factor in how the future title will play out. Similarly, EA's PGA Tour will have to go on without the use of Tiger Woods, who will exclusively be available in PGA Tour 2K.

With this announcement, this is perhaps the first time two golf simulators will be using the PGA Tour license at once. Accordingly, it seems that the PGA license is not an exclusive one like the NFL license that EA has monopolized for over a decade. The publisher sharing a license with a competitor comes as a surprise, especially considering how the company strong-armed the Champions League license from the PES series for FIFA teams and players in 2018. It will be interesting if PGA Tour will have featured cover athletes like most of EA's other sports games, sign with an exclusive headliner like PGA Tour 2K, or choose another route altogether.

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