For the last 14 years, Tiger Woods has been at the forefront of the PGA Tour video games of Electronics Arts (EA). The golf superstar is about to lose one of his longest-standing and biggest sponsors. The video game Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14, which was launched sometime this year, is his last title in the series because the video game developer has decided to end their current partnership.
In a statement, EA said it is a mutual decision between the company and Woods to terminate the partnership. But it assured that it would continue to exclusively collaborate with PGA Tour in the development and creation of new groundbreaking golf titles. EA has assured that its partnership with PGA Tour remains strong.
It is estimated that the top-selling games that were branded after Woods raked in a total of about $770 million. The once famous athlete reportedly earned about $16 million annually from the partnership in the last 14 years.
The downfall of a superstar
Woods started a downfall after his infidelity scandal surfaced in 2009. Since then, he has lost most of his endorsements because many of the companies thought his tarnished reputation may tarnish their own brands as well. It should be noted that EA was among the very few partners who decided to continuously stand by him despite the odds.
Now that Woods is starting to rise again, EA must have thought it could be the best time to end the partnership. Both parties assured that they are parting amicably. EA is believed to be heading to a new approach as gamers now look forward for more choices and greater customization in the way they play.
The termination of the long-standing deal also coincides with the launch of next-generation video gaming consoles, the anticipated Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This early, many are interested to know if Woods would still appear as one of the playable characters in EA’s future golf video games. Some analysts think he could retaliate by preventing the use of his name and image in any of the future games of the company.
For EA, this is not the only sports partnership that it terminated this year. The game publisher also discontinued last month the long-running NCAA college football franchise. But the company still keeps the exclusive video game rights to the National Football League. This means that EA remains on top of its game despite the end of such partnerships.