Of all the dormant sports franchises, EA bringing back their PGA Tour series was not at the top of the list. If anything, I thought we’d see/hear more about a Fight Night revival or some sort of NBA-adjacent announcement. But after revealing that college football is coming back, we got the news that EA’s PGA Tour is also making a return. While it’s great that we get more sports games, can two golf video games really coexist?
EA’s announcement comes just a week after 2K Sports revealed they bought Nova Scotia-based HB Studios and that Tiger Woods would feature in their PGA Tour 2K series. We probably won’t get full details around Tiger’s involvement for some time. And, with his recent automobile accident and slow recovery, we probably won’t hear anything until the summer.
Meanwhile, EA’s announcement today is vague with details. But, unlike the ‘years’ we’ll need to wait for College Football, it sounds like we’ll get more news about EA SPORTS PGA Tour in the comings months. They already announced the FedEx Cup and at least Pebble Beach, so expectations are high.
EA vs 2K
While I was a huge fan of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour Series, I never got around to trying PGA Tour 2K21. It’s a game I’ve wanted to try but never found the time. At the same time, my interest in golf games has dropped over the years. I was working at EA when Rory McIlroy’s PGA Tour came out. While it was okay it also very underwhelming. I missed the solid Tiger Woods PGA Tour games of the PS2/Xbox and PS3/360 eras, and this wasn’t a good enough replacement.
HB Studios has progressively gotten better with their golf games over the last few years. With 2K’s support and the PGA Tour license, I never thought that EA would follow with their own golf game. Considering the lack of competition in most sports, it’s refreshing to see that EA is willing to take a risk.
EA will need to really impress the sports and golf game community with a solid first effort. If this is just Rory McIlroy PGA Tour with updated graphics for 2021, then it would be very disappointing. Again, I’ve stated recently that I think that EA is going to have a big year. We should also see some new stuff around an update to the Frostbite engine. EA could need to showcase the engine’s versatility and having more sports games would certainly help.
Can there be two (or three)?
It really looks like we’re getting at least two golf games in 2021 (Mario Golf is also coming this June). So, can we have two very similar sports games at the same time? While Pro Evolution Soccer has been able to still thrive with the FIFA juggernaut, I’m not so sure there is enough of a golf audience to support multiple titles. There have been multiple golf games at the same time previously, so this isn’t new. Hopefully, both games can be successful and it opens the door for more competition with other sports.