EA has pushed back the release of its EA Sports PGA Tour revival to Spring 2023, missing its original Spring 2022 release date by a whole year. That the game would be delayed was announced back in November, but it’s only now that we get an understanding of just how far EA are pushing back its release.
— EA SPORTS PGA TOUR (@EASPORTSPGATOUR) November 3, 2021
The statement is disappointingly similar to the last one, flatly saying that “We’re excited to bring championship golf to you and will be providing more information on our launch plans in the coming months.” That’s identical to what was said last year.
Of course, this makes sense when considering the golfing calendar with the four Majors set from April through to July, and with the PGA Tour as a whole coming to an end at the end of August. Interest in the sport is going to swell around the Masters, PGA Chapmionship, US Open and The Open, and EA’s springtime release target is surely aiming to ride that wave.
EA Sports PGA Tour is set to release for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, building on the Frostbite game engine and aiming to take advantage of the new generation consoles’ power. Developer EA Tiburon has also employed new aerial scanning techniques to capture millions of data points from across the Augusta National course to recreate it in as much detail as possible in game.
Having starred Tiger Woods as the face of their golf franchise between 1998 and 2013, EA has gone without a golf game since Rory McIlroy PGA Tour in 2015. That game was their one and only entry on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, leaving a vacuum of golf games that went unfilled by a licensed game until HB Studios’ The Golf Club series picked up the PGA Tour license in 2018. That game series morphed into PGA Tour 2K21 with last year’s release, but sporting rights are a tricky field to navigate, and 2K’s non-exclusive license left the door open for EA to announce the return of EA Sports PGA Tour in March of this year.
Since then, EA has gone after more major licensing deals, snagging the rights to feature all four Majors in their game, which could be a major boon to the new game’s appeal. Meanwhile, 2K Games is still producing their own PGA Tour licensed game, and has managed to go back and secure Tiger Woods’ likeness in a long-term exclusive deal.