Masters Tournament playable exclusively in EA Sports PGA Tour

Following final week’s shock information that it was reviving its simulation golf franchise, writer Electronic Arts has introduced that it is usually bringing again the flashiest feather in the online game collection’ cap: the Masters Tournament.

The Masters and its house, Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, can be playable exclusively in EA Sports PGA Tour, EA introduced Wednesday, sooner or later forward of the 2021 Masters. It can be Augusta National’s first look in a golf online game since 2013’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 on PlayStation three 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 four and Xbox One with Rory McIlroy PGA Tour in 2015, the licensing deal had expired. Asked for data on the size of the brand new settlement, an EA Sports spokesperson declined remark.

EA additionally stated Wednesday that in addition to the Masters, EA Sports PGA Tour will function the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open, and the British Open, making it the one online game that may provide all 4 main tournaments in males’s skilled golf.

It’s one thing of a coup for EA Sports as the corporate reenters the golf market to compete with 2K Sports’ PGA Tour 2K franchise. 2020’s PGA Tour 2K21 provided 15 real-life programs, a couple of of which have beforehand hosted majors. But 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 trying to play together with the professionals and attempt for a grand slam, the presence of the majors in EA Sports PGA Tour is a key, authenticity-related promoting level over PGA Tour 2K. Meanwhile, 2K Sports is attempting 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 way of 2013.

“We’re honored to accomplice with Augusta National, house of the Masters Tournament, to function the course and its traditions exclusively in EA SPORTS PGA TOUR,” Cam Weber, govt vice chairman and normal supervisor of EA Sports, sin a information launch. “EA SPORTS is committed to growing the love of sports for everyone, and through our partnerships with the PGA TOUR, Augusta National and the other majors, we will bring new and longtime fans closer to the biggest events in golf than ever before.”

the cover art for EA Sports PGA Tour, featuring an overhead photo of the clubhouse at Augusta National Golf Club and the words “Road to the Masters”

The cowl artwork for EA Sports PGA Tour.
Image: EA Tiburon/Electronic Arts

EA stated in its information launch that it has “worked meticulously to capture the course and traditions of the Masters,” together with “first of its kind aerial scanning to collect millions of data points, previously inaccessible in golf games, to recreate the unparalleled beauty of Augusta National authentically in the game.” (This is presumably an improve over the outdated approach — when EA introduced in 2011 that it was bringing Augusta National to its sport for the primary time, its information launch touted “state-of-the art laser scanning technology.”)

There’s no phrase but on whether or not EA is utilizing the identical aerial scanning expertise for different licensed programs in the sport. EA has not but introduced any playable programs past Augusta National and Pebble Beach Golf Links. If EA Sports PGA Tour goes to function the host programs for the 2021 majors, it must embody Kiawah Island Golf Resort (PGA Championship), Torrey Pines Golf Course (U.S. Open), and Royal St. George’s Golf Club (British Open). In 2022, those self same occasions are scheduled to happen at Southern Hills Country Club, The Country Club, and the Old Course at St. Andrews, respectively.

EA additionally stated it can spotlight the Masters in EA Sports PGA Tour with a package deal of content material known as Road to the Masters that may “deliver players the prestige of competing in the Masters Tournament, plus additional experiences exclusive to Augusta National.” Asked for clarification, an EA Sports consultant informed Polygon that EA Sports PGA Tour “will celebrate many of the biggest events in golf alongside the real-world events,” beginning with the Masters at launch. This means that the sport will include a live-service aspect with in-game content material that’s timed to the foremost tournaments and different PGA Tour occasions.

EA Sports 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 video game,” suggesting that it’s in improvement on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

The writer has but to announce a launch window for EA Sports PGA Tour; it launched the previous couple of Tiger Woods PGA Tour titles in the spring, and launched Rory McIlroy PGA Tour in July 2015. If the tournament-aligned content material comparable to Road to the Masters is any indication of the sport’s launch timing, it might level to a launch in early 2022, forward of the subsequent Masters Tournament.

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