EA Sports & 2K Could Be About To Make PGA Tour Worse

Golf gamers are set to experience the dawn of a particularly exciting, new era, with EA Sports PGA Tour and PGA Tour 2K23 dueling it out for supremacy, bringing long overdue competition to the genre – along with the risk of making things worse. PGA Tour 2K23 has none other than Tiger Woods as its cover star and will come out on October 14 with a free run at the market, after the release of EA Sports PGA Tour was pushed back a year, to Spring 2023. EA, on the other hand, will hope that the exclusive rights it has to golf’s four majors: the Masters, PGA Championship, US Open, and The Open, will help to produce a game that fans are willing to wait for.

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However, with this increased competition comes the inherent risk that either, or both, EA Sports PGA Tour (post-LPGA partnership) or PGA Tour 2K may, at some point, attempt to strike a deal with LIV Golf, in order to produce a game that has an edge over their rival. After all, 2K Sports has already announced that, should one of its licensed golfers leave the PGA Tour, they will remain in PGA Tour 2K23. What’s more, it’s entirely possible that the game could even feature a PGA Tour-turned-LIV golfer from launch, as 2K Sports has thus far delayed the announcement of which additional playable pros will also feature in the game. EA, meanwhile, is under huge pressure to deliver, given the awful reception that Rory McIlroy’s PGA Tour 2015 received.

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Should select LIV golfers (or even the Tour itself) be included in any future release of either EA Sports PGA Tour hours PGA Tour 2K23, which features a Topgolf mode, then the game’s developers will run the risk of alienating those lifelong golf fans who are outraged at the swift rise of the breakaway tournament. After all, LIV Golf is the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund’s latest attempt at “sportswashing” – that is using high-profile sporting events to change the international perceptions and detract away attention from many human rights atrocities. Granted, there will undoubtedly be casual fans who, unaware of the controversy, will revel at the opportunity to play as major-winning golfers like Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, and Brooks Koepka, but the appreciation of these few is not worth the anger of the core golf gaming fanbase.


LIV Golf Would Bring Any PGA Tour Game Into Disrepute

In addition to its ethical issues, LIV Golf brings into question the sporting integrity of the game of golf, a stark contrast to the custom golf fun of PGA Tour 2K23. There’s no cut, tournaments only last 54 holes and even last-place finishers are guaranteed a hefty check, meaning that there’s not much to motivate the likes of Cameron Smith and Dustin Johnson, who have already collected their huge signing bonuses, all whilst playing a shorter schedule. Indeed, LIV golfers still cannot accumulate Official World Golf Ranking points despite a recent attempt to secure this privilege via a strategic alliance with the third-tier circuit MENA Tour. Therefore, their inclusion in either EA Sports PGA Tour hours PGA Tour 2K23 would only serve to further muddy the waters of the most divisive topic in golf.

Fortunately, there’s hope that this discussion will remain merely theoretical, as the current roster of PGA Tour 2K23 – including Tiger Woods – consists solely of fierce advocates for the PGA Tour. What’s more, the inclusion of LIV golfers would surely jeopardize either developer’s partnership with the PGA Tour, given that all LIV golfers are suspended by the PGA in real-life. Of course, most things in the world of gaming are subject to change and EA has already lost its PGA Tour license once, back in 2018. However, here’s hoping both EA Sports PGA Tour and PGA Tour 2K23 stay true to their name and steer clear of LIV Golf – both now and for the foreseeable future.

Next: PGA Tour 2K23 Course Designer Preview: Giving Creators More Power