2K Games are taking another swing at PGA Tour, with a new entry in the golf simulation series scheduled for release on PC and consoles on August 21.
The original PGA Tour games first date back to 1990, with a long line of games published by EA. With the release of PGA Tour 1998, Tiger Woods became the face of the series. But eventually, in 2018, EA dropped the license to make the official PGA Tour video game, and appear to have stopped making golf games entirely. With the license to make official PGA Tour games up for grabs, 2K games saw an opportunity to expand their lines of sports games and swooped in to acquire the license themselves.
2K first partnered with Canadian veteran sports sim developer HB Studios for The Golf Club 2019, which added the PGA Tour to the series for the first time. 2K is now partnering again with HB Studio to develop this reboot of the PGA Tour series, the first new entry since EA stopped making them back in 2015.
Based on this new trailer, they’ve injected some of the glitz and glamour like what you might see in their WWE or NBA games. There’s hip hop beats provided by your man Savage, flashy customizable wardrobe for you and your ‘crew’ to express your inner world champ, and a glimpse at the course creator you can use to build your own course with.
They’ve picked Justin Thomas as the cover star for the game. A relatively young player, who’s got 12 PGA Tour wins and the 2017 PGA Championship under his belt. He’ll be joined by 11 other professional players, as you play across iconic courses like TPC Sawgrass and East Lake Golf Club.
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) May 14, 2020
There’s plenty here for golf fans to be excited about, but also perhaps worth holding a degree of caution. On the one hand, there’s a lot of potential for a big flashy polished Golf sim to satisfy passionate sim players bringing their “A” game and casual Duffers alike, but there’s also the specter of how 2K has handled some other sports series. The WWE games are going through a rough patch, with WWE 2K20 being widely regarded as a complete disaster, and they won’t even be releasing a WWE 2K21, deciding instead to take a year off. Then there’s NBA 2K, which is a consistently successful game with regards to sales, but there’s certainly a lot of frustration from a vocal minority that is getting increasingly fed up with how aggressive the monetization through microtransactions is in those games.
Developer HB Studios is at least a safe pair of hands, having worked for two decades on all sorts of sports sim games, including FIFA, Madden, Rugby World Cup. Even golf games specifically, they just in the last few years made three games in The Golf Club series and even worked on the PS2, Wii and DS versions of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 back in the day.
This is a powerful statement of intent from 2K, where they are making a big commitment to what they no doubt hope is going to be another successful annual sports series. They have big shoes to fill, it won’t be easy to live up to the legacy and heritage of the prestigious PGA Tour name.
Will PGA Tour 2K21 be a bogey or a hole in one? Only time will tell. PGA Tour 2K21 will be released on PC, via Steam, on August 21. Find out more over on the game’s official website.