American video game developers 2K Sports have inked a deal with PGA Tour and HBA Studios to publish the newly-licensed golf game –The Golf Club 2019 – featuring the professional men’s golf tour. The deal was brokered by CAA Sports Licensing on behalf of PGA Tour.
The deal replaces the PGA Tour’s long-standing relationship with EA Sports who have struggled recently with its officially licensed Rory McIlroy PGA Tour game, which this past week has been removed from digital marketplaces.
Canadian game developers HB Studios had launched original The Golf Club in 2014 followed by a sequel in June 2017. 2K Sports took over the publishing of the latest 2019 edition of the golf game series, digital version of which is now available for download. Physical copies of the game will be available at retail stores.
Developed by HB Studios, The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA Tour marks the franchise’s first release with the official PGA TOUR license and presents an opportunity, through the new partnership, to deliver the most comprehensive and engaging virtual golf experience to date for the series, states the official release form PGA Tour.
The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA TOUR is available for digital download on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X and Windows PC. In addition, physical versions of the game will be available at participating retailers this fall.
Greg Thomas, President at Visual Concepts, “HB Studios has an established and impressive track record in sports simulation game development, and from its early plans for The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA Tour, we saw significant potential in both the game and future of the franchise.”
“With a solid foundation and talented team in place, we’re eager to leverage our collective strengths and make a notable impact for golf and simulation sports enthusiasts everywhere.”
Alan Bunker, CEO of HB Studios, said, “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 labor 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.”
Len Brown, Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President Licensing for PGA Tour says “we are thrilled to have partnered with HB Studios and 2K to create and distribute the first-ever tournament play mode within a console game, featuring some of the most recognized PGA TOUR events including THE PLAYERS Championship.”
The Golf Club 2019 has, it is claimed, set a new franchise benchmark for authenticity and realism, including improved ball physics, swing mechanics, swing feedback and other core gameplay mechanics; unparalleled visual fidelity powered by award-winning and industry-leading SpeedTree technology often used in top blockbuster games and films; and Overhauled user interface delivering a fresh look and feel.
In addition, for the first time in franchise history, players will experience an officially licensed PGA TOUR Career Mode. Players will embark on an authentic journey through Q-School and the Web.com Tour, earning the right to play in a 32-tournament PGA TOUR season. Season play includes beautifully precise replicas of PGA TOUR courses that are accurate down to one-meter of resolution of the real-life courses;
Players will forge rivalries and land sponsorships en route to competing in the FedExCup Playoffs, with the ultimate goal of becoming a FedExCup Champion.
The Golf Club 2019 will now include a robust online multiplayer system for matchmaking and private matches. Players will compete on featured courses through matchmaking or choose from any available course for private matches as well as go head to head to play as a team with friends in any one of six game formats, including the new additions of Skins and Alt-Shot.
Widely known American video game company EA Sports (Electronic Arts) were the former licensee of the PGA Tour branding and TPC courses that developed best-selling title ‘Tiger Woods PGA Tour,’ since 1999. Following the 2013 edition, EA’s partnership with Woods and a licensing agreement with Augusta National Golf Club reached an end. This was followed by PGA Tour’s tie-up with HB Studios this year in May for The Golf Club 2019.
EA once enjoyed a worldwide success in the golf video game market, thanks to Tiger Woods. After parting ways with him, the studio bounced back with the launch of “Rory McIlroy PGA Tour” in 2015 for the current-generation consoles. The title received lukewarm response and drew poor reviews as the game had fewer features than previous versions of the game even though EA continued to add downloadable content for up to a year. The game was recently pulled from digital storefronts when its EA’s license to use Tour branding expired.