Tiger Masters the Game The latest version of Electronic Arts' annual Tiger Woods franchise downplays the golf superstar in a big way. As it turns out, those
changes might have earned the publisher a hole in one.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters has proven to be the
fastest moving in the series' history. EA says the game -- the 14th installment
in the long-running golf sim -- sold 225,000 copies in its first week.
That new bar comes despite the fact that Tiger's face is nowhere to be seen on this year's box -- and branding for The Masters far overshadows any mention of his name.
This is the first year Tiger has not explicitly fronted his own game, but EA has said
previously that players should not insinuate that this means the company is
backing off of its relationship with him, despite his widely reported personal
problems and faltering performance on the greens. (He has played 11 major
championships without a victory.)
Last December, EA CEO John Riccitiello said the company had
"no plans" to distance itself so long as Tiger continued to win
games. Woods didn't win last weekend's Masters, but he seemed to be back in
form, shooting a 5-under-par 67 on the final day. (He eventually finished
fourth after missing several key putts.)
It's impossible to conclusively say if it was the Masters
branding, public forgiveness of Woods, solid
reviews or just a cumulative need for a good golf game spurred the sales
rush, but whatever the reason, it had a notable impact. Sales were 17 percent
higher than the previous record set four years ago. Digital sales were also up,
as mobile gamers warmly received the iPhone and iPad versions. EA says digital
revenue from the game was twice that of last year.
Since the game's March 29 release, players have played more
than 7 million games, 2 million of which were played in this year's big course
addition -- Augusta National Golf Club. And if you're really into details, that
works out to over 184 million shots. Plenty of those were missed putts -- just