|tiger '12 ps3 cover, as displayed on amazon|
now on to business.
tiger. ohhh tiger. the EA-tiger relationship is a constant source for material for me since i enjoy playing their golf games. even more so since i picked up a set of clubs a couple of years ago. remember those posts i did on that very relationship after his off-course mishaps? sure you do. the first one was regarding tiger woods pga tour '11, and sharing the cover with rory mcilroy for the US vs. europe ryder cup feature. next was thinly veiled threats from EA, who basically said that tiger would be done if he didn't start performing better on the course (of course i'm paraphrasing here, they only talked about the connection between the best golf game and the best golfer but come on we all know what's up). now it can be argued that EA has taken it a step further with tiger woods pga tour '12. instead of the ryder cup, this one focuses on the masters, which is kind of a big deal since this tournament has never been featured in a golf video game since the dawn of golf video games. but tiger isn't front and center here. but now look at the cover - the sole focus is on the yellow flags of augusta and the masters logo, with "tiger woods pga tour '12" almost serving as a subtitle.
so my predictions were kind of right. but also a lot of wrong. is tiger off the new cover? ehh, mostly. but i also thought that tiger '11 would still sell fairly well, seeing as the margin between '09 and '10 was fairly slim. well, sales for tiger '11 were down by roughly 50% since tiger '09 (reuters). and these sales figures could have directly related to tiger's performance. according to jesse divnih, VP of electronic entertainment design and research, "the sales issues of the tiger woods video game are much broader and deeper than tiger's personal problems and has more to do with the entire golf sport struggling in 2010." he continues, "of course, one could argue the decline in the interest of golf has to do with tiger's extended absence and returned poor performance. but even if that was true, it says a lot about the PGA Tour and their over-reliance on one person to carry the whole league. PGA exposed itself to this risk and now is facing the consequences." he's still going to be a featured player in the game, as well as a member of team USA in the ryder cup feature, along with other big shots like bubba watson and zach johnson.
|screenshot of augusta, from kotaku|
which i would wholeheartedly believe - if the ONLY cover that featured tiger prominently wasn't the playstation 3's collector's edition.
that aside i'm still looking forward to the game. HD screens of augusta look awesome from what i've seen, there's a new feature to play with a caddy advising you, the ability to play through past masters tournament moments, and the playstation move sensitivity in 3D space is touted to be better than it was in tiger '11. jim nantz and david feherty will be the voice behind the game on commentary this year, and according to a short development story on kotaku, this is meant to be the most tour-authentic experience provided to the players of the franchise.
of course "authentic" includes what i'm sure will be many slices from my move controller in my living room, as they would invariably occur with a 3 wood were i at augusta.