EA Sports PGA Tour announces release window, even more exclusivity deals
Electronic Arts has announced that EA Sports PGA Tour, the company’s much heralded return to golf simulation games, will arrive in spring 2022.
In a press release sharing the news, EA Sports also revealed that the upcoming game will be “the exclusive home of all four of golf’s major championships: The Masters Tournament, PGA Championship, U.S. Open Championship and The Open Championship.” Last month, EA announced that its golf game would have exclusivity for The Masters but was ambiguous about whether the exclusivity extended to other majors. This new phrasing is much clearer on that front.
After today’s statement, it would appear that the competing franchise, PGA Tour 2K—which recently signed a long-term partnership with Tiger Woods—will not be able to feature any of the PGA Tour’s four major tournaments. It’s less clear, however, whether the courses on which these majors take place will be available to play in 2K’s offering without tournament-specific branding.
EA Sports has a long history of using exclusivity deals to squeeze out the competition in its sports titles. Most famously, the publisher signed (and has repeatedly renewed) a licensing deal with the NFL to ensure Madden is the only football sim in town. With these announcements surrounding EA Sports PGA Tour, it appears the company is taking a similar approach as it returns to the world of golf.
Today’s announcement also included one further detail about EA’s plans for EA Sports PGA Tour. The game will feature “tutorials and coaching challenges, designed in collaboration with the PGA Education and Player Development Departments.” The goal is to teach players golf skills that don’t just apply to the virtual links but the real world as well.
EA says it will announce more about its upcoming title as each of the PGA Tour Majors take place throughout the summer. The PGA Championship kicks off on May 20th at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. After that, we can expect news around the U.S. Open in June and The Open Championship in July.