EA's Moore talks 2010 Tiger Woods plans

Q&A: EA Sports' president answers questions on the decision to keep controversial cover athlete; Tiger Woods Online's open beta, the MLB license, and dwindling PSP support.

Electronic Arts' support for celebrity spokesperson Tiger Woods has been unwavering since the professional golfer confessed to marital transgressions and took an indefinite leave of absence from the sport last year. However, there was some speculation about whether the publisher would be as vocal as in years past with promoting the series before the scandal blew over and Woods returned to action.

EA Sports president Peter Moore.

It seems that speculation was unfounded. EA Sports today officially announced Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and iPhone and launched its open beta for the browser-based PC game Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online.

If that wasn't vocal enough, EA Sports president Peter Moore spoke with GameSpot this afternoon about the new games, the company's ongoing relationship with Woods, and PGA Tour 11's fate on the PlayStation 2 and PSP. Rarely at a loss for words, the executive also fielded questions on his interest in the Major League Baseball license, Mark Turmell's relationship (or lack thereof) with the new NBA Jam, EA Sports MMA, and the in-limbo Grand Slam Tennis for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

GameSpot: People who follow golf have been wondering how well the PGA would endure Tiger's prolonged absence. He's obviously important to the well-being of the sport. Is he any more or less important to the well-being of the EA golf series?

Peter Moore: We haven't seen an impact. We looked at December sales and then we looked at the year as a whole. The situation with Tiger unfortunately happened over the Thanksgiving holiday going into the holiday selling period, but there was no degradation of sales we could see. Overall franchise sales for calendar year '09 were better than '08.

Like all golf fans and people involved in the business that is Tiger Woods, we wish him the best with some of the challenges he's going through with his family right now, and we give him the privacy he asked for as regards his indefinite leave from golf. But we also hope to see him back on the course as soon as possible.

To your point, he's very important to the business of golf, and those that rely upon him are very eager to see him back. But it's going to be his call when he comes back.

ON STICKING WITH TIGER

GS: How do you respond to critics of your decision to stick with Tiger Woods?

PM: Very simply, he's the world's greatest golfer until somebody tells me otherwise. The AP just a few weeks ago called him the greatest athlete of the decade. And our relationship that goes back to the first Tiger Woods game in 1999 is now in its 12th year. And we're all about delivering the best simulation of world-class sport. If you're talking golf, you have to have Tiger Woods as the first name that comes out of your mouth on that. We're all about delivering the best golf simulation, and Tiger Woods is currently the world's best golfer.

Tiger Woods has taken an indefinite leave from golf, and his game has apparently done the same with the PS2 and PSP.

GS: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 isn't coming to the PSP or PlayStation 2 this year. Why not?

PM: We've announced the platforms it's definitely coming to, and that's 360, PS3, the Wii, and the iPhone. We're just trying to look at what platforms we feel are appropriate. If there are any omissions, they've been done for a specific business purpose. Right now, we're announcing what they're on rather than what they're not on.

GS: This isn't the first time EA Sports has passed by the PSP for one of its games. Is the system tapering off?

PM: I never comment on my projections for what a console's likely to do. We look at all the platforms we think this game is most appropriate on and have made the announcements accordingly. If there's something omitted, it may be that we're going to announce it later for whatever reason.

TIGER ONLINE: NOW ONLINE

GS: What's the pricing plan for Tiger online?

PM: We haven't determined the overall business model as of yet. The purpose of the open beta is to experiment with some things. But what you can imagine is a free element that's probably going to be relatively limited--but enough to give you a feeling for what the game experience is--and then microtransactions and subscription-based models. And we're going to work that out over the coming months.

GS: FIFA Online required players to download a client program, while Tiger is browser-based. Why the change? Will you stick to browser-based from now on?

PM: It's got to depend on the situation, and quite frankly, how much stuff you need to put in a game. Golf is relatively thin, and by that I mean, you're standing over your ball and you hit it down a fairway. And we can do that relatively easy in a browser, and that's the key here. Other games, while still using a browser to access them, may require a client that is loaded onto the desktop. You're going to see a number of different business models for us, depending on the game mechanic and the actual intellectual property.

GS: Do you have any sports lined up for Online treatment next?

PM: Not yet, but you can imagine as we learn more about Tiger and use that as a pilot program…that with the IP in sports, we can bring to bear on this type of game experience, it's not a stretch to imagine that we're going to be making more announcements in the future about these kinds of game experiences.

GS: What's the primary audience for these online games? How does it differ from packaged goods retail games?

PM: I think there's a commitment you need to make in packaged goods with a console. I've got to buy a console; it has to be in a particular room in my home. Typically, I need a high-definition TV and decent sound system to take advantage of the software I'm buying. It's non-portable…what we're trying to do here is provide location-free gaming in a click-and-play browser type game with malleable business models that don't require that upfront investment in hardware and a game disc.

We're just trying to make sure we continue to look at the future of games. With the ubiquity of broadband, with the cost of PCs coming down driven by netbooks, we're trying to field more options for our IP on whatever platform our consumers want to be on and wherever they are. And that is not necessarily tethered to the couch.

GS: How do they compare to packaged games in terms of profitability, risk-reward ratio?

PM: There's an upfront development cost, as you can imagine. The business model is going to be a longer burn. We're in the world of delivering annual iterations of our games, and they're seasonal. This is a different model. We're going to be able to iterate on top of this every single day. The game will never change from its core, basic engine, if you will, but we'll add new features, new courses, new equipment, new golfers on a regular basis. You're going to see a different curve to the business model with regards to revenue coming in over a longer period of time, but it's going to have a much longer tail, and it's going to be much more sustainable.

BASEBALL, WII, GRAND SLAM, NBA JAM

GS: Can we expect EA Sports to reenter the baseball genre once Take-Two's exclusivity deal expires?

PM: Every time I've been asked about baseball, I've been really clear. I'm a huge baseball fan. EA for many years was an important part of the baseball license, and when the opportunity arises where we can get back in and contribute the unique flair that EA Sports brings to any sport, we'll be there and very interested. But right now, our competitors at Take-Two have the exclusive third-party license, and we respect that.

GS: Third-party Wii sequels have had some trouble in the market. How'd EA Sports Active More Workouts do?

PM: It's doing well. I haven't seen the latest numbers, but our real focus is going to be on January with a New Year's Resolution campaign. If you watch TV, like the Golden Globes and The Biggest Loser, we've had a very strong flight of network television ads around EA Sports Active and More Workouts. But ask me again in early February after I see January's sales, and I'll have a better idea. We expect a very strong month with the New Year's Resolutions business.

GS: Any update on Grand Slam Tennis for the 360 and PS3?

PM: No, not right now.

GS: Do you have a progress report on EA MMA?

PM: I saw the latest build just before the holidays, and it's looking great.

GS: Can we get some clarification on Mark Turmell's involvement in NBA Jam since he's at Tiburon and the games in development in Vancouver?

PM: Mark's role is more of a broader creative role. He's very talented across multiple sports. It's coincidental--his relationship with NBA Jam. We're not doing it because Mark Turmell is at EA Sports. Mark's a much broader creative force than that, and he's putting a lot of focus in particular on our football properties. So don't link Mark Turmell and NBA Jam together because that is certainly not the case.

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Discussion

63 comments
MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

he really has 19 ho's now.... have you heard the news?

califone
califone

Why hate on the man, he's used to putting in 18 holes at work, why not the same at home?

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Can't wait for Tiger 11. It will be a great game

shooters125
shooters125

Man I think everybody should just lay off everything Tiger Woods for a while.

Mr_Manikin52
Mr_Manikin52

Tiger Woods 2010: Sex addiction treatment mini game.

ShadowNeverDies
ShadowNeverDies

I miss Peter Moore at the Microsoft Press Conference, this guy's always been really good at what he does. Oh and Tiger Woods yeah he has a problem and hopefully he gets it fixed. Him being at a sex addict clinic would be hilarious to watch, watch 'Blades of Glory' and you'll see what I'm talking about.

ShadowNeverDies
ShadowNeverDies

I miss Peter Moore at the Microsoft Press Conference, this guy's always been really good at what he does. Oh and Tiger Woods yeah he has a problem and hopefully he gets it fixed. Him being at a sex addict clinic would be hilarious to watch, watch 'Blades of Glory' and you'll see what I'm talking about.

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

TW is a pig, eg; if you have something more than what you need, therefore you are a pig, in his case, 12 plus women for himself = pig.

BrianB0422
BrianB0422

TW is not a "sexist, womanizing, PIG". He is a guy with vaginas being basically thrown upon his weiner 24/7. DrKill your PhD must be in stupidity and ignorance.

RJay123
RJay123

It wouldn't mean you're a pig, you're just satisfying the needs you were born with. Social factors have made our society call Tiger a pig, but he isn't. Maybe not every man then, but definitely the majority would want the opportunity to do any woman they want

DrKill09
DrKill09

@RJay123 No, I wouldn't. I'm not a sexist, womanizing, PIG. :roll:

RJay123
RJay123

News flash Tiger Woods is male and has NEEDS! Any one of you would do the same

onthe_dl
onthe_dl

Who cares about his personal life, the guy is a gift to the sport. We've never seen anybody in our time with such dominance in a sport so hard to conquer. We've been lucky enough to witness it.

BrianB0422
BrianB0422

Good call EA. The man is the best at what he does. Whom he fornicates with is his own business. You are in the business of video games, not marriage counseling. Another blow to the whining mothers that try to dictate the world. Huzzah!

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

The truth is, real gamers, and golf aficionados, admire Tiger Woods for his passion, drive, and skill, and if they look at him as a role model, it would be in the sports arena, because if you need one role model in life, and one only for all areas and elements of life, prepare to be disappointed and to forgive. So, I command EA for sticking through the thick & thin, if it's indeed a good business decision for them. After all, they are a business. In the defense of other sponsors, they profited on Woods face/fame, and brand, which is naturally tarnished for a while. So it's understandable that they put him on at least a time-out.

JUSTBLAZE_928
JUSTBLAZE_928

To be honest i think Tiger should get some sort of award for what he did. Did any of you see some of them girls he was pulling?

MNBeta03
MNBeta03

"But what you can imagine is a free element that's probably going to be relatively limited..." bigger franchise killing words have never been spoken. Sorry EA, and annual edition should be no less than the previous year's edition. Screw your online subscription based environment, most of the players of this game are buddies sitting around having some brewskies before a night out, big game, or on lazy weekend. They are usually in the same room.

Rinoa_Bunansa
Rinoa_Bunansa

Who gives a damn about what TW did, its his life and he has the money to do almost whatever the hell he wants- we all know EA will keep the TW series going until it quits selling. I mean, it is just a game, although we might make crude jokes at it but it's all in good fun, ya? I know he is the world's greatest golfer, but noone with actual sense gives a **** about his private life, I say it like that b/c we do not know TW personally, so it does not affect us or our lives- only the media cares about celebrities personal lives.

zaxafreon
zaxafreon

Trainz2006_fan Posted Jan 22, 2010 5:32 am GMT How come EA don't make sports games for us aussies like AFL or cricket? I know someone else makes AFL games but why don't EA have a crack at it? Well they dont because if EA made any game where you hit something your gaming hating goverment would ban it

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

This would be an excellent opportunity for Outlaw Golf to come back, with a headline character that parodies Tiger Woods. Have him shill for every crappy product under the sun, only speak through three agents, and have affairs from here to Iceland. Instead of beating the caddy to calm down, his wife can whoop his ass instead. Can't miss.

ZedX-14Pilot
ZedX-14Pilot

You know what I want this chump to talk about? How about telling us why there are only 6 courses in TW? There should be at LEAST 15. When you add value to the TW series, then I will 'jump in'. I like Peter, but, EA is in shambles at the moment.

racing1750
racing1750

Tigers private life should not be left out, and EA should continue to make TW games

pszone
pszone

well if i was him i should sone it ages ago on next gen if i took on Tiger Woods to make money well why thiking of it know he's dum

enoslives7
enoslives7

Tiger has excellent taste in women, I'll give him that. His wife is gonna get a half billion in the divorce, but I still feel bad for his kids.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Tiger's private life does not change the fact that he is the World's Greatest Golfer and has accomplished more in the sport than any person before him. With or without scandals, Tiger Woods will go down in history as one of the greatest athletes of our time. I'd be surprised to see EA drop the Tiger Woods branding from their golf games any time soon. It's a well-known brand. Changing the name has the potential of losing more sales than continuing with the current branding. Still... I wouldn't want to be in the marketing shoes of the people who have to make some of these decisions. _

skillings24
skillings24

Maybe the game should have a GTA type "coffee" perk if you sink a hole in one... that'll boost sales. Maybe have unlockable characters be all the women that have come forward saying they slept with him... they're only after his money and 15 minutes of fame anyway.

XanderZane
XanderZane

Tiger's not a bad guy. He just let that thing between his legs do the talking, instead of his brain. He made a mistake and is now paying for it. Like I said before, he shouldn't have bothered to get married. His wife Elin knew he was a womanizer before she married him, yet she believed he would change his ways after they got married. Men don't change overnight. Especially rich famous men. Tiger should have just kept Elin as a girlfriend (one of many). If he wasn't married with kids, what he did wouldn't have been an issue at all. Staying single, he could date and screw whatever women he wanted to with no repercussion except maybe catching a STD. As for his game and EA; EA knows that this is a business and the Tiger Woods series have made them serious bucks. Unless the sales of the game plummets to under 500K for the year, EA isn't going to get rid of it.

silentkill62696
silentkill62696

the difference between tiger woods and santa claus. santa claus stops after 3 hos.

Wish01
Wish01

When you have all the money in the world why the hell would you go and spoil it all by getting married? He would have never lost his face if he was not married which has amounted to deceiving his family. If not for him being married he probably would have been considered a stud!

Mr_Bodywave
Mr_Bodywave

Why are people talking about "Morals". First off, "morals" are an artificial construct and vary by society. Not every culture would think bad of him.

keyboardswiz
keyboardswiz

Addict187 maybe you're one of those that do it, but not all the people are prick like you. Cheating your family it's the worst thing a man can do retard (and now I get another suspension from Gamespot).

keyboardswiz
keyboardswiz

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Pateatworld
Pateatworld

EA RUGBY? 360 and ps3 in 1080p??? Please? PLEASE?? :'(

Mike4842003
Mike4842003

@ iano-87 He's actually half black half Asian.

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

@Genocide6sic6 "Hot Coffee mini game?" oh yeah, i want that!!! bring it on EA!

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

@iano-87 the most sex addict golfer of all time... what a playa'! i don't like golf though...

iano-87
iano-87

Tiger woods is the best golfer there ever was, hes black and his name has a ring to it followed by PGA Tour. They will never be able to market another golfing series as well as this one so it's only logical that its not dropped. Sorry folks, common sense!

Addict187
Addict187

He cheated on his wife WOW get over it. it's normal now a days everone dose it

HappyTheDragon
HappyTheDragon

Trainz2006_fan - It would cost too much compared to how much money they would make. There wouldnt be a profit.

Alex_09
Alex_09

I'm amazed people are feeling bad for Tiger Woods. I really don't care about any of this, it doesn't surprise me he's been proven to be a fake celebrity just like the rest. Only thing that does surprise me is he cheated on a beautiful wife with a bunch of hookers and waitresses, but only one or two of them were even good looking. Has anyone else seen the full list of people he's accused of cheating with?

Trainz2006_fan
Trainz2006_fan

How come EA don't make sports games for us aussies like AFL or cricket? I know someone else makes AFL games but why don't EA have a crack at it?

tony382
tony382

Come on, try and get that MLB license back NOW! I need a Baseball game on the 360. I'm dying here.

KBABZ
KBABZ

Not all that surprising, given that the franchise is about Golfing and not Cheating.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

My personal opinion is that most companies dropping Tiger are hypocritical. At least Moore has the balls to tell it how it is and not hide behind a PC curtain of ballslessness.

POGOLIUS69
POGOLIUS69

@mpeg3s Consoles are totally the way to go these days. You talk about people growing tired of buying a new system or motion controllers when in reality a console right now lasts about 5-7 years before they stop making new content (see xbox/ps2) So by adding motion controllers the console creators are extending the shelf life of the current systems. So having a console that is good for years is ten times better then PC's. With the way graphics and min. requirements keep increasing for PCs the cost of a PC is exponentially greater.

meltedwater
meltedwater

Look, Ea will not drop anything they can rape for $ year after year. Thats why they said they dropped Ghostbusters, because they couldnt make it a yearly thing.

aslkyu
aslkyu

Maybe EA should try mixing genres a bit......like Tiger meets Leisure Suit Larry, you could play the 18 holes while harassing all the hot female spectators.....its the only way I'd ever buy a golf game anyway........