Electronic Arts has signed Tiger Woods to a four-year, multimillion dollar licensing deal for interactive golf games, MSNBC has learned. The contract with the 21-year-old Masters champion and with rights-holder Nike Inc. is valued at an estimated $5 million to $10 million in guarantees from Electronic Arts, which will release the first two of many Woods-titled games this summer.
Electronic Arts (ERTS), a top game publisher and the industry leader among sports-oriented products, secured the rights to use Woods’ name and likeness in a complex and highly competitive series of discussions that lasted well more than a year. Access Software and Microsoft (a partner in MSNBC) are among the others previously reported to have interested in the Woods’ rights.
The deal could be worth $40 million or more in retail sales.
“I am thrilled to join the EA Sports team,” said Woods. “I’ve played video games for many years. The chance to work with the top brand in sports gaming and play a key role in the design of an interactive golf product will be an exciting challenge.”
Athletic shoe and apparel maker Nike, which holds certain sublicensing rights to the golfing phenom, did most of the negotiating with Electronic Arts and other interactive-game publishers. But the involvement of multiple parties — including the Professional Golfers Association — made the licensing talks particularly intricate.
|Tiger Woods is good for business. That’s why game companies have been in the Tiger hunt for almost a year now.|
Terms of the deal weren’t released. But industry executives and analysts pegged the guaranteed payout to Woods and Nike at between $5 million and $10 million. As such, it would easily rank among the biggest celebrity contracts in the history of the interactive entertainment industry.
In an interview Wednesday, product manager Richard Hilleman said Electronic Arts expects the introduction of Woods-titled products to draw a whole new demographic group to interactive golf games, which have tended to skew older than typical game consumers.
“We think the golf products shipped to date are targeted toward the older, stodgier end of the market,” Hilleman says.
Creation of the Woods games for three different platforms — the PC, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 — are under way already. In fact, the golfer already has performed the crucial “motion capture” exercises — in which electronic nodes are attached to the body and mapped on the computer — necessary to recreate his form on screen.
Among the features that players can expect are digital renditions of the charismatic golfer’s “victory jumps” and “fist pumps.” In addition, the games will include “Tiger Tips,” short videos of Woods explaining how to handle tough golf shots in real life.
Moreover, Hilleman says Woods has successfully encouraged Electronic Arts to speed up its golf games — to about an hour for 27 holes for two players, or about half the running time for current golf games — and to include music to make the virtual experience less staid.
PC golf game sales in North America totaled roughly $60 million at retail last year, while sales of golf titles for the Sony PlayStation hit about $9 million, Hilleman estimates. (Interactive games typically sell for between $45 and $60 each.)
In a fractured market, Electronic Arts has earned a dominant market share on the PlayStation, but only a 20 percent to 30 percent market share among PC game makers, according to Hilleman.
Hilleman’s sales goal for Woods titles are at least 500,000 copies a year on the PC, and 300,000 for the PlayStation. At retail, that would translate into about $40 million in sales.
Under the EA Sports brand, the PGA Tour Golf series was brought to market in 1990 and has since been one of the top-selling computer and video golf games in the industry.
In PGA Tour, cyber golfers can tee up at prestigious courses such as Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Bay Hill Club, Spyglass Hill, TPC of Scottsdale or TPC at Sawgrass where every hole features the exact characteristics and surroundings of the real hole.
Woods will join 14 other PGA Tour pros, including Peter Jacobsen, Brad Faxon, Tom Kite, Lee Janzen, and Davis Love III in future versions of the PGA Tour product line.
Electronic Arts, headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., is a leading interactive entertainment software company.
Founded in 1982, EA posted revenues of $673 million for fiscal 1997. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for personal computers and advanced entertainment systems such as the PlayStation and Nintendo 64.
- New Episode of ‘Tiger King’ Is Announced
- Brooks Koepka makes audacious statement over Tiger Woods' major haul
- The Handmaid's Tale season 4: Fans blast 'plot hole' in Nick Blaine and June's reunion
- Stewart Cink in control, Tiger Woords cards a 72 at Torrey Pines
- Human activities cutting off tiger gene flow in NE: Tiger census report
- Tiger relocation project to resume soon in Uttarakhand
- Freshmen Tigers headed to TIFI playoffs, Junior squad close
- In a first, Bengal to count big herbivores during tiger census
- The Handmaid’s Tale season 4: Hannah’s tragic fate ‘sealed’ as June’s forced to leave her
- Rory McIlroy delighted Tiger Woods is returning at the Masters - and won't rule out him causing a surprise
- The Handmaid's Tale season 4: Fans slam 'cringe-inducing' soundtrack 'Killed the scene'
- Tiger Shroff to be the face of first franchise-based Esports league ESPL
- Tiger King’s Carole Baskin breaks silence on I’m a Celebrity rumours – and leaves fans shocked
- Kylie Jenner slammed by fans for "tone deaf" 'Handmaid's Tale' party amid women's rights battles
- Rabalais: Tiger Stadium was back, but LSU's once-proud running game remained AWOL
- FIFA 22: Chance for EA Sports to kickstart virtual football for a new generation
- White Sox fan catches home run ball with prosthetic leg
- Sahitya Akademi honour for author who tells tales from the ‘other Nagaland’
- LSU's inability to run finally catches up with it in loss to Auburn
- Tiger hunt: Chief Justice tells Forest Department not to go for the kill immediately
EA catches Tiger tale have 955 words, post on www.zdnet.com at February 18, 1998. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.