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Golf’s latest video game, EA Sports PGA Tour, is set to launch on March 24 and it’s fair to say they’re pretty excited about it.
The gaming giant’s first foray into golf since 2015, the game will feature 30 courses at launch, including Augusta National and the Old Course, St Andrews. As well as that, you’ll be able to play with some of the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour’s biggest stars.
EA Sports are proud of the fact that this is the only game where you can play at the venue for the Masters, something that the game’s producer, Ben Ramsour, explains.
“We’ve had a long relationship with Augusta National even before they were ever in our game back in the day,” he told bunkered.co.uk.
“You know, a lot of it is helping them understand the value of connecting the sport to the next generation of golfers.”
While it’s all well and good featuring the most iconic USA venue, it needs to play like the real thing, something not lost on Ramsour, who was part of the team that met the staff, including the course’s superintendent, at the prestigious club.
The team combined a process of using laser technology, the same kind that is used to find gold mines, with ‘boots on the ground’ to get a feel for the courses they were replicating.
“The caddies at Augusta National played the course on the game a few weeks ago. We have the helper, the green grid, turned off for them, so the caddies read the green in the way they would in real life.
“The best I’ve done on that is 20-over-par, and the caddies shot even par. Their comment was that it was absolutely perfect.
“The level of detail we were able to get to with how we scanned the course, it really helped us nail it.”
Of course, that process isn’t reserved exclusively for the Masters venue. The team travelled around the world to create the game, with locations such as New Zealand and the Caribbean proving difficult to access during the pandemic.
“Getting to these places, we had to get creative,” Ramsour explained.
“Getting into the Dominican Republic to capture Teeth of the Dog, it’s not like picking your things and driving to Georgia for Augusta National. Yeah, New Zealand and the Dominican Republic, those two were pretty difficult.”
Of course, the game features the host venue of the 150th Open, the Old Course, St Andrews. They say that the gameplay will replicate the real life intricacies of the Fife links, with the ball not rolling perfectly or predictably, as it might have done in other games. The Old Course won’t be target practice anymore, as it might have been before, they say.
While almost every course will stay largely the same, there was almost a big change to the iconic Swilcan Bridge, that might have had designers scrambling to make last minute changes.
“It wasn’t panic, we know these courses change. We’ve built such a good rapport with the St Andrews Links Trust, but I saw it on Twitter too, just like everyone else and thought, ‘is this real?’
“Having the openness with them to have somebody that we could reach out to understand how we can reflect their property in the game, that makes it a lot easier.”
EA SPORTS PGA TOUR will launch on March 24, 2023. You can view more info on EA SPORTS PGA Tour here.
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