Golf video games are going to look a lot different now that EA Sports has officially parted ways with Tiger Woods.
Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal broke the news, which concludes an extremely successful partnership that helped boost both brands and enhance the "cool" factor of the sport:
EA discontinuing relationship w Tiger Woods after 15+ yrs. Company now working on next-gen golf title without him.— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) October 28, 2013
Also included in Fisher's string of tweets concerning this development is part of EA's statement on the matter, as well as an early peek at the next-generation layout of the company's forthcoming game:
EA statement in part: We've always been big fans of Tiger and we wish him continued success in all his future endeavors.— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) October 28, 2013
While several prominent sponsors dropped Woods in the wake of his widely documented infidelity scandal back in 2009, EA Sports stuck with him, continuing to use Woods in their golf video game franchise launched in his name.
How does the end of this partnership impact your feelings toward golf video games?
Woods' last major triumph was in the 2008 U.S. Open.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 marked the first time Woods wasn't the only golfer featured on the game's cover. The 2010 release opted to take a Ryder Cup angle, choosing Rory McIlroy to represent Europe as Woods' cover-mate.
The following year was the first time Augusta National was introduced to the game, and it occupied the majority of the cover, with Woods' recognizable figure imposed as a shadowed silhouette.
Rickie Fowler joined Woods on the cover in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 in the U.S., while the legendary Arnold Palmer did so in the latest version.
Palmer teamed with Woods in one of the most hilarious ads the franchise has ever put out, too:
Parity in golf is increasing, with younger players such as McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and others emerging as the next big stars on tour. None of them is bound to have a big enough impact to ever warrant his name attached to EA in this context, though.
The golf video games EA produces should continue to be great on the new consoles, but they won't be quite the same without Woods as the centerpiece.