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Tiger Woods 12 enjoys best ever first week sales

Release date move and box art controversy fail to impact golf game's performance

Golfing simulation Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 has seen the highest first week sales in the franchise's history, following the addition of The Masters license - and despite controversy over Tiger Woods' appearance on the box cover.

Internal estimates at publisher EA Sports suggest around 225,000 copies were sold through between March 29 and April 5 in North America, outperforming Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 by 17 per cent.

Year-over-year week one console digital revenue for the franchise increased by over 200 per cent, with the iPhone and iPad versions becoming the top grossing sports game applications on iTunes throughout the first week of release. The iOS versions do not include The Masters tournament or course.

Since its North American release on March 29 the title has seen more than 7 million games played on all courses, with the equivalent of 2,515 PGA Tour seasons in online tournaments. Over 184 million golf shots have been taken, with 1.5 million achievements and trophies unlocked and 12 million course mastery objectives completed.

This year's iteration in the series is the first to feature The Masters tournament, causing the game to move from its traditional summer release date. The game initially gained notoriety for not featuring Tiger Woods on the box art for any of the versions, except the collector's edition for the PlayStation 3.

EA has repeatedly stated that it intends to stand by Tiger Woods, despite revelations about his personal life, with the publisher indicating that it is only his golfing performance which has any affect on how he is used in marketing.

The game has also proven controversial due to the large amount of downloadable content, with only 16 courses on the disc for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 - but an additional 20 available for purchase online. The extra courses are prominently displayed in the game's career mode, with prompts to buy the extra content or skip the course.

"We expected fans to be excited about the Masters and for sales to be up significantly. We're pleased that they are," said EA Sports president Peter Moore. "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters has earned rave reviews, and fans have played nearly two million rounds at Augusta National Golf Club during the first two weeks."

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David Jenkins