EA is going the online-only route this year for the computer version of the Tiger Woods golf franchise, called Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online. That’s good in the sense that it’ll be Mac compatible too, updates should be automatic, and you’ll be able to play from any computer.
It’s bad in the sense that you’ll need to be connected to the internet to play the game. While EA doesn’t come right out and say it, this is almost surely to prevent piracy. Expect other game developers to keep a close eye on how well this online-only thing works for EA. If it works, it may reinvigorate the PC gaming market somewhat in the face of certain developers going console-only and it’ll certainly make for a decent Mac game.
The graphics look okay, although it’ll be interesting to see how many visual corners are cut in order to deliver a browser-based experience. Pricing hasn’t been set yet, either, but don’t expect to pay $19.99 and be done with it, as EA says that the game “will be offered through a multi-tiered subscription in fall of 2009.”
Translation: This is the last Tiger Woods game we’re making for the computer and we’ll just keep updating it constantly. That’s actually not a bad idea, as many people have complained that some of EA’s other sports titles seem to merely feature incremental tweaks and roster updates year after year. Those subscription prices will need to be low, though, as we’re all used to paying $20 to $40 per year for PC versions of EA Sports’ boxed games. I love the Tiger Woods games but I’d be a hard sell to even pay $5 per month for an online version. I might go for $2.99 per month. Might.
Full press release:
EA Revolutionalizes Sports Gaming with Ground-Breaking Tiger Woods PGA TOUR(R) Online
Authentic Golf Simulation Streamed Directly to Your Browser
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 29, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Electronic Arts Inc., (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that EA Tiburon, the development studio of the best-selling* golf simulation Tiger Woods PGA TOUR(R) franchise, is introducing an innovative and ground-breaking new product – Tiger Woods PGA TOUR(R) Online. Available this fall, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online is an authentic golf simulation experience that is dynamically streamed to a web browser and requires no game installation, no disc, and no additional peripherals. This game is easily accessible and available anywhere, via a web browser and an internet connection.
“Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online is for anyone who loves golf and is on-the-go,” said Executive Producer Mike Taramykin. “Whether you have ten minutes on your PC in the office, or hours on your Mac at home, this is a golf game that makes time for you. With Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online, golf lovers can satisfy their golf fix anytime.”
Stuck at the airport waiting for a flight? If you have an internet connection, just open up your computer and fire up Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online! The game is literally just a click away and has high resolution 3D graphics, delivers a feature rich experience and will be regularly updated with new features.
At launch, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online will include several world class championship courses, such as Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass and St. Andrews, while additional new courses will be available on a regular basis. In addition, a fully stocked schedule of tournaments and multiple community features, allowing fans to connect and compete with friends, makes Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online a community for all golf fans. This community will help shape the game’s evolution, including features such as new course additions, pro shop items, and even tournament conditions.
Your time is at a premium and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online is designed to work around your schedule – suspend play and resume from the exact same point at a later time. Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online will be the most accessible and feature-rich golf video game experience available on any personal computer.
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online will be offered through a multi-tiered subscription in fall of 2009.