SBD/June 10, 2014/Media

EA Sports Announces Plans To Release New Tiger-Less PGA Tour Game Next March

EA Sports announced yesterday at the E3 video game industry conference in L.A. the forthcoming release of “EA Sports PGA Tour,” its first full-featured golf title since it parted ways last fall with Tiger Woods after more than 15 years. At that time, the company said it was working on a new golf game for next-gen consoles and released a screen shot from its early stage work. Yesterday’s announcement represents a significant advancement upon that work. The game will be EA Sports’ first golf title for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, and is slated for release next March. In addition to real-life courses, “EA Sports PGA Tour” will also feature fantasy courses, such as venues from its first-person shooter series “Battlefield.” The company in a new trailer calls the game, “Golf Without Limits.” The company also unveiled further details for most of its other sports titles at E3, including “Madden NFL 15,” “FIFA 15,” “NHL 15,” and UFC, as well as a PGA Tour mobile game, “King of the Course.” EA Sports’s licensed basketball title, “NBA Live 15,” is not being shown at the conference. After a somewhat troubled re-entry to the simulation basketball market after a four-year absence, company officials elected to remain focused on development of next year’s title rather than prepare for the logistics regarding a high-profile industry showing like E3. “NBA Live 15” Exec Producer Sean O’Brien in an open letter wrote, “We have very lofty goals for ‘NBA Live 15,' and we knew the most important thing we could do to improve our chances for achieving these goals was to put our heads down and work as hard as possible with minimal distractions” (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).

NOT LOOKING BACK: EA CEO Andrew Wilson appeared on CNBC's "Closing Bell" yesterday afternoon where he discussed the $20M settlement in a lawsuit over NCAA athletes marketing rights and how it will affect the company's strategy going forward in its sports games. He noted the settlement wouldn't "impact us a great deal." Wilson said EA has "moved away from making college-themed sports properties." He added, "We're focused on our core 'Madden NFL' product and really looking forward to continue to drive innovation and creativity in and around that product. So our focus has moved away and we haven't spent a lot of time on it recently" ("Closing Bell," CNBC, 6/9).
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