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Plugged In

EA offering refunds on problematic Tiger Woods 12

Plugged In

While the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Tiger Woods 12: The Masters have been received fairly warmly, the PC version is in the rough. The thick stuff.

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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 (EA Sports)

Graphics are subpar. The features are lacking. And fans, who have been waiting for a new PC version of the game since 2008, are livid. Now it appears that publisher Electronic Arts is trying to sooth the angry masses.

Eurogamer reports the company has offered refunds to select customers who felt misled by the game.

The list of grievances from PC fans is a pretty lengthy one. Topping the complaints is the game's multiplayer mode, which is only free for three months. Additionally, players who want to upgrade their player's wardrobe or equipment can only do so via in-game purchases -- using real world cash.

We reached out to EA, who offered this response.

"We address all customer service inquiries on a case-by-case basis.  This is normal protocol.  The PC/Mac version combines some of the best single-player game modes of the console version with the accessibility and multiplayer offerings of Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online. "

Unfortunately, the game's similarity to Tiger Woods Online -- released two years ago -- is part of the complaints, which also mention errors with its stat-tracking. There also appear to be a number of missing features, such as "The Caddie Experience."

"After 7 hours of gameplay, I have yet to see a caddie," noted TruePCGaming in a review. "After a doing a little research by visiting various forums and watching YouTube clips, I finally found out the caddie feature is only available in the console versions of the game."

Full refunds for sports games are rare, but they have happened before. In 1999, Sierra Sports recalled its NFL Football Pro '99 and offered players a full refund due to a number of errors in the program's code.

Players were furious, but gave the company credit for admitting its mistakes.

"We knew the potential for this product but we let the impending end of the football season influence our decision process. We figuratively `dropped the ball,'" said then-Sierra president David Grenewetzki. "With this recall action we hope we can convey our intention to do right by our customers."

It was a nice gesture, but one that signaled the death of the franchise. The next installment never made it onto store shelves and the franchise was quietly shut down.

That's not likely to happen with the Tiger Woods games, of course, but it does show the danger of releasing a game that angers the audience.

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