Despite saying that EA Sports will continue to develop an annual golf simulation in partnership with the PGA Tour, Electronic Arts has announced that they've cut ties with the perennial cover star Tiger Woods.
Woods, who first started working with Electronic Arts 16 years ago, has faced some bad press in the past few years, but his departure will have no effect on the simulation series at EA. Daryl Holt, VP and GM of golf at EA Sports noted today that "EA Sports and Tiger Woods have made a mutual decision to end our partnership."
"We've always been big fans of Tiger and we wish him continued success in all his future endeavors," Holt said via an EA Sports blog post. "Moving forward, we will continue to work with the PGA Tour exclusively to create groundbreaking golfing titles."
Many sports gaming fans have come to associate "playing a Golf game" with "playing Tiger Woods." I certainly don't think PGA when I think about hitting the virtual green. This move returns the franchise to it's pre-1998 branding under the PGA Tour moniker.
Whatever you think about Tiger Woods, his athleticism on the course or his behavior outside of sports, it says a lot about your impact when you get a game named after you. I doubt that EA will abandon the Madden name, even if John Madden no longer has a very active role in the NFL.