Following final week’s shock information that it was reviving its simulation golf franchise, writer Digital Arts has introduced that it’s also bringing again the flashiest feather within the online game collection’ cap: the Masters Match.
The Masters and its residence, Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership in Augusta, Georgia, will probably be playable solely in EA Sports activities PGA Tour, EA introduced Wednesday, sooner or later forward of the 2021 Masters. It is going to be Augusta Nationwide’s first look in a golf online game since 2013’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The Masters was playable in solely three golf video games — EA secured the rights beginning with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, however by the point the writer introduced the franchise to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with Rory McIlroy PGA Tour in 2015, the licensing deal had expired. Requested for data on the size of the brand new settlement, an EA Sports activities spokesperson declined remark.
EA additionally stated Wednesday that along with the Masters, EA Sports activities PGA Tour will characteristic the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open, and the British Open, making it the one online game that can supply all 4 main tournaments in males’s skilled golf.
It’s one thing of a coup for EA Sports activities as the corporate reenters the golf market to compete with 2K Sports activities’ PGA Tour 2K franchise. 2020’s PGA Tour 2K21 supplied 15 real-life programs, a number of of which have beforehand hosted majors. However regardless of 2K’s personal relationship with the PGA, it didn’t have the rights to the names of the particular main tournaments.
For golf followers seeking to play together with the professionals and try for a grand slam, the presence of the majors in EA Sports activities PGA Tour is a key, authenticity-related promoting level over PGA Tour 2K. In the meantime, 2K Sports activities is making an attempt to attract in golf followers with a unique tactic: partnering with Tiger Woods, who had been the face of EA’s golf video games from 1998 by 2013.
“We’re honored to associate with Augusta Nationwide, residence of the Masters Match, to characteristic the course and its traditions solely in EA SPORTS PGA TOUR,” Cam Weber, govt vice chairman and normal supervisor of EA Sports activities, sin a information launch. “EA SPORTS is dedicated to rising the love of sports activities for everybody, and thru our partnerships with the PGA TOUR, Augusta Nationwide and the opposite majors, we’ll convey new and longtime followers nearer to the most important occasions in golf than ever earlier than.”
EA stated in its information launch that it has “labored meticulously to seize the course and traditions of the Masters,” together with “first of its form aerial scanning to gather tens of millions of information factors, beforehand inaccessible in golf video games, to recreate the unparalleled fantastic thing about Augusta Nationwide authentically within the recreation.” (That is presumably an improve over the outdated approach — when EA introduced in 2011 that it was bringing Augusta Nationwide to its recreation for the primary time, its news release touted “state-of-the artwork laser scanning expertise.”)
There’s no phrase but on whether or not EA is utilizing the identical aerial scanning expertise for different licensed programs within the recreation. EA has not but introduced any playable programs past Augusta Nationwide and Pebble Seaside Golf Hyperlinks. If EA Sports activities PGA Tour goes to characteristic the host programs for the 2021 majors, it should embrace Kiawah Island Golf Resort (PGA Championship), Torrey Pines Golf Course (U.S. Open), and Royal St. George’s Golf Membership (British Open). In 2022, those self same occasions are scheduled to happen at Southern Hills Nation Membership, The Nation Membership, and the Previous Course at St. Andrews, respectively.
EA additionally stated it would spotlight the Masters in EA Sports activities PGA Tour with a bundle of content material known as Highway to the Masters that can “ship gamers the status of competing within the Masters Match, plus extra experiences unique to Augusta Nationwide.” Requested for clarification, an EA Sports activities consultant informed Polygon that EA Sports activities PGA Tour “will rejoice lots of the largest occasions in golf alongside the real-world occasions,” beginning with the Masters at launch. This means that the sport will include a live-service component with in-game content material that’s timed to the main tournaments and different PGA Tour occasions.
EA Sports activities PGA Tour is being made by EA Tiburon, the Maitland, Florida-based studio behind EA’s earlier golf titles in addition to the Madden NFL collection (and, presumably, the revived EA Sports College Football). EA described it final week as a “next-gen golf online game,” suggesting that it’s in growth on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Sequence X.
The writer has but to announce a launch window for EA Sports activities PGA Tour; it launched the previous couple of Tiger Woods PGA Tour titles within the spring, and launched Rory McIlroy PGA Tour in July 2015. If the tournament-aligned content material similar to Highway to the Masters is any indication of the sport’s launch timing, it may level to a launch in early 2022, forward of the following Masters Match.