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EA Sports gets back into golf with a PGA Tour game

A direct competitor to 2K Sports and former partner Tiger Woods

Rory McIlroy squats to read a green, chin on hand, in Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
2015’s Rory McIlroy PGA Tour for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the most recent entry in EA Sports’ golf franchise.
Image: EA Tiburon/Electronic Arts
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

EA Sports announced Monday it is developing a PGA Tour-licensed golf video game for consoles, giving 2K Sports a direct competitor to its PGA Tour 2K series. A launch date will be announced “in the coming months,” EA said.

EA Sports PGA Tour will include the Tour’s branding, plus The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs, and Pebble Beach Golf Links, according to a news release from Electronic Arts. EA this year signed a “new, long-term deal” with the PGA Tour, the statement said. The publisher did not specify platforms in the news release, but described the product as a “next-gen golf video game.”

“We’ve partnered with EA Sports to bring immersive golf video game experiences to fans of all ages for years,” said Len Brown, the PGA Tour’s licensing executive. “We are thrilled to continue working with EA Sports on its golf franchise to authentically represent the PGA Tour for the next generation.”

Electronic Arts’ announcement comes two weeks after 2K announced it had bought HB Studios, the formerly independent developer of The Golf Club and PGA Tour 2K series, and signed an exclusive deal with Tiger Woods to appear in the series beginning with its next edition. Woods and EA Sports had partnered on the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series, for consoles and PC, from 1998 to 2013.

EA’s last golf video game was 2015’s Rory McIlroy PGA Tour for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. EA Sports PGA Tour will be developed by the company’s EA Tiburon studio in Maitland, Florida, which also made Rory McIlroy PGA Tour and the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series before it.

2K began publishing golf titles in 2018 with The Golf Club 2019, which also featured PGA Tour licensing, The Players Championship (with six TPC course), and the FedExCup playoffs. The series returned in 2020 as PGA Tour 2K21, with 10 TPC courses and five additional real-life courses.

EA said Monday that EA Sports PGA Tour will be built in the company’s Frostbite engine, as Rory McIlroy PGA Tour was six years ago. “We can’t wait to give fans the opportunity to compete on some of the most iconic PGA tour courses, and win the FedEx Cup,” Cam Weber, EA Sports’ general manager, said in a statement.

The resumption of a golf series is another surprise expansion of EA Sports’ portfolio, following a console generation in which the label regularly published just four series. At the beginning of February, EA Sports announced it was returning to college football with a licensed video game for consoles, sometime in 2022 or afterward.

It also follows Electronic Arts’ December acquisition of motorsports specialist Codemasters, with a last-minute, $1.2 billion bid that overrode 2K parent Take-Two Interactive’s initial $994 million deal to buy out the studio.