Say what you want about Tiger Woods’ antics off the green, but his EA licensed games are one avenue of entertainment that hasn’t caught him in the rough.
He has achieved over $1bn in career earnings as well as becoming a household name, while EA’s titles have been a sales success at retail, netting the publisher more than $500m in just over ten years.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 builds on the core gameplay established by the series while adding a raft of features, namely a brand new Ryder Cup mode.
“We expect a great performance at retail both at launch – which coincides with The Open – through to the Ryder Cup this October,” says EA Sports product manager Kuran Kapoor.
“From a game mode perspective we’re excited to finally have the Ryder Cup licence. It’s been the one addition everyone has wanted and with our 24-player online mode it’ll provide a lot of fun on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The multiformat Tiger Woods PGA Tour golf franchise first teed off in 1998 and has gone on to get a new game every year since then. iPhone and browser-based PC versions were first released last year, further strengthening the brand’s broad appeal.
EA Sports is well known for recreating an accurate golfing experience in Tiger Woods PGA Tour titles, blending realistic graphics with addictive gameplay to attract both golfers and gamers alike. Tour 11 is no different from this winning philosophy.
Polished to a tee
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is the first in the franchise to benefit from a Ryder Cup mode, allowing players to experience the exciting rivalry between the US and Europe.
EA says it specifically wanted to highlight this addition as it is the most requested feature from gamers of previous Tiger Woods games. This should help shift further copies of the game when the Ryder Cup runs from October 1st to 3rd.
It also echoes official tournament licenses in other EA Sports games such as 2010 FIFA World Cup, Madden NFL 10 and Grand Slam Tennis.
Kapoor adds: “The Ryder Cup is a unique event in the golf calendar with a much broader audience that brings a lot to the series.
“This brings a brand new way for the next generation of players to experience Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11.”
Other new additions to gameplay include a new shot focus mechanic, compatibility with Wii MotionPlus and a ‘Tru-View’ mode, which aims to recreate the golfers’ first-person perspective on the course.
“From a gameplay perspective, the new Tru-View mode will test the hardcore golf fans,” says Kapoor.
“Players will now view the ball just like the pros, so decisions with regards to spin will have to be made before the shot, as players no longer see the flight of the ball.”
Players will also be able to lead their team of golfers to glory with the ‘Online Team Play’ feature which allows two teams of 12 to go head-to-head.
The Wii version is MotionPlus compatible, providing an added sense of realism and an enhanced swing mechanic which measures the point of the ball – making it possible for the player to miss it entirely if their technique is off.
A career mode allows consumers to focus on four different golfer attributes, mix and match combinations of play and choose from a range of clubs.
There’s even a mini-golf mode with nine and 18-hole challenges across four separate courses.
Swinging to victory
Previous Tiger Woods titles have been well received by press and players alike, with PGA Tour 09 receiving an average 84 per cent on Metacritic and PGA Tour 10 achieving a score of 81.
EA has also seen success at retail with high sales figures. In September 2008 PGA Tour 09 went straight to the top of the GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top 40, while PGA Tour 10 followed suit in July last year.
With critical reception and strong performance boding well for the Tiger Woods series in the past, PGA Tour 11 looks set for similar success.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 will be released for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii on July 2nd.
It's in the campaign
EA is promoting Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 with a far-reaching marketing campaign, covering the following avenues:
There will be an extensive print campaign running across games magazines, golfing publications and national press titles.
Internet advertisements will appear on a number of golfing and gaming websites, with a re-heat around the Ryder Cup this October to draw in sports fans.
A TV campaign will get underway at launch followed by a secondary drive nearer the Ryder Cup tournament in October.
EA says it is working closely with its retail partners to ensure Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 has a great in-store presence.
The game will be promoted at the BMW Championship in Wentworth as well as The Welsh Open, The Open at St Andrews and the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.