With sports on hold for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic, fans are turning to video games as the next best thing. The latest game looking to step in and fill the void is PGA Tour 2K21, a simulation golf title.
A brief teaser trailer debuted Wednesday to announce the game. There’s no information in the video about platforms or a release window, although the “2K21” title suggests it is scheduled to launch this year, following the typical naming scheme for sports video games. The teaser says that “full details” will be revealed in eight days, on May 14.
PGA Tour 2K21 is technically the fourth entry in HB Studios’ The Golf Club franchise, and the first one since 2018’s The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA Tour. HB Studios, an independent developer based in Nova Scotia, Canada, inked a publishing deal with 2K Sports for that game, and their partnership is continuing this year.
The teaser for PGA Tour 2K21 contains footage of the “Island Green,” the famed 17th hole on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; TPC Sawgrass was one of six The Players Championship courses that appeared in The Golf Club 2019.
The Golf Club 2019 was the first game in HB’s series to carry the PGA Tour license, which is now taking center stage with the new title. The only remaining sign of the old name at this point is in the fine print at the end of the teaser, where it says the game is “developed by HB Studios — powered by The Golf Club.” It’s unclear if 2K has acquired the rights to The Golf Club, or if the publisher rehired HB to continue the franchise under the new name of PGA Tour 2K; we’ve reached out to both companies for more details on the arrangement, and will update this article with any information we receive.
Either way, the rebranding is a smart move by 2K, casting itself as the new standard-bearer for video game golf. For many years, sports video gamers associated the PGA Tour name with publisher EA Sports — the company held the license for more than 25 years, and its golf franchise’s greatest success came from a long-running partnership with Tiger Woods that ended in 2013.
After parting ways with Woods, EA made Rory McIlroy the face of the franchise with 2015’s Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, but the company did not continue the series after that, paving the way for HB to sign a licensing deal with the PGA Tour organization.
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