One of the big two publishers – as far as sports games go – has made a big new signing.
When we went hands-on with The Golf Club 2019 at this year’s E3 – well, adjacent to E3, in a photography studio – the PGA Tour deal was in evidence. From the big signs, like tour events on real-life courses, to the little details, like sponsorship from the likes of Dell and John Deere, HB Studios were keen that we noticed that they were affiliated with the PGA Tour now.
I mean, why wouldn’t they be? We haven’t seen a PGA Tour game since EA’s
Tiger Woods Rory McIlroy series went off the boil, and much like Cities: Skylines did for Sim City fans, The Golf Club was waiting in the wings to pick up fans cast adrift by EA’s drift away from the genre.
All of this hasn’t escaped 2K Games attention. 2K games are, if you’re not been paying attention, EA’s big rival when it comes to major sports franchises. Where EA has FIFA and Madden, 2K has NBA and WWE; and now, they can add the PGA Tour to their roster: 2K has taken over publishing duties from developer HB Studios for The Golf Club 2019.
The brilliantly named Alan Bunker – it’s a golf reference, geddit? – CEO of HB Studios, had this to say of the deal:
“I’m immensely proud of all the hard work and passion that our team has put into making this game. It’s truly been a labour of love, and I think that’s reflected in the product. We couldn’t be happier to align with 2K and the PGA Tour to share our passion for golf and sports simulation gameplay with franchise enthusiasts and newcomers worldwide.”
The Golf Club 2019, which includes its traditional career progression married with that new PGA Tour licence, launches today for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. And yes, the PGA Tour licence means you get to take on the ominous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, pictured above. Get ready for wet feet.