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Woods scandal "may have permanently damaged" sales

First month sales down 68%, Wii sales down 86%; Skate 3, Green Day also disappoint

Electronic Arts' sports franchise Tiger Woods PGA Tour may have suffered permanent sales damage due to the star's public infidelities.

The latest in the series, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, was released in June and suffered a 68 per cent drop in US sales compared to last year's iteration, which was released in the same month.

Although last year the Wii version of the game shipped with the Wii MotionPlus accessory, Doug Creutz of Cowan & Company labelled the 86 per cent decline in Wii sales of PGA Tour 11 as "particularly catastrophic."

"Although this is probably due in part to the fact that last year's version shipped bundled with Nintendo's new MotionPlus controller, we are concerned that Woods' scandal woes may have permanently damaged the sales potential of what we believe to be EA's third most important sports franchise, behind Madden and FIFA," he wrote in a note to investors.

At the start of the year, EA Sports president Peter Moore denied the franchise had been impacted by revelations of Wood's sex life, although that was before the release of the latest console game and Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online.

Looking at other EA titles released in May and June, Creutz pointed to Skate 3, with sales down 40 per cent compared to the first two month's of Skate 2, and the sale of 82,000 units of Green Day: Rock Band as the reason for reducing full year revenue estimates for the publisher from $538 million to $475 million for the first financial quarter of 2011.

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Latest comments (9)

Ed Barton Director, Digital Media, Strategy Analytics6 years ago
>> $538 million to $475 million for the full financial year

Matt, surely this is his estimate for the quarter?
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Matt Martin Editor, GamesIndustry.biz6 years ago
You're right Ed, thanks for pointing that out. Story tweaked.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
I don't know many people who really care about Tiger Woods' sex life, beyond using it in jokes. Certainly the people I know who've bought the game wouldn't (and didn't) refuse to buy it because of any personal scandals surrounding him.

I think it's worth EA looking at perhaps how much of Skate 3 and Tiger Woods 2011's reduced sales is down to the Online Pass intiative. Is this people voting with their wallets, or just a coincidence?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 19th July 2010 11:06am

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Show all comments (9)
Richard Westmoreland Game Desginer, Exient Ltd6 years ago
I think the problem isn't with Tiger himself, it's with the fact that no one really needs to buy a Golf game every year. Last year had the Motion Plus, which was hailed as a more realistic way to simulate Golf on the Wii. What motivation do the owners of last year's version have to upgrade to this years?

I imagine they will get many more sales from PS3 owners once the Move comes out.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 6 years ago
I don't understand why people would buy a football game every year, let alone a golf game.
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Antony Cain Lecturer in Computer Games Design, Sunderland College6 years ago
Golfers don't transfer to different clubs; they might buy new clubs but who cares about that? :)

But yeah I don't see why those yearly football games (2 FIFAs this year?!) can't just be patches/DLC
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Private Industry 6 years ago
Don`t think either it`s because of the scandal. I did read many reviews and most of them stated, that the new additions to last years version are minor. Fifa and Madden have the advantage of updated rosters and player stats, with a golf game that`s just not there and people are probably less willing to get a new golf game with only slightly upgraded features. As Richard stated move could get the game a few more sales. I consider myself maybe getting the game IF I buy move.
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I'm not sure why, but I ended up buying Tiger Woods (Wii) last year - it may have been Motion+.

Its one of the least played games I have ever bought - not only will I not be buying future Tiger Woods titles, I doubt I'll even buy a EA sports (or even realistic sports) title again.

His sex life has so nothing to do with it (for me anyway).

Ironically - I thought South Park's take on the next Tiger Woods game to be excellent, and something I would potentially buy...
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Jeff Wilson6 years ago
I think the reduction in sales is more likely due to Tiger Woods is not winning any Major Championships recently. If he starts winning again, his fans will return and buy more of the Tiger Woods titles. Perhaps this particular series of games has reached its end.
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