Tiger Woods will return to the front cover of PGA Tour golf games after a long absence.
2K Games, the current publisher of the franchise, announced a "long-term exclusive deal" with Woods today.
"Woods will play an active role in the video game landscape as an executive director and consultant with PGA Tour 2K," a 2K spokesperson said. "2K will also partner with Woods' TGR Foundation, which provides award-winning STEM curricula and college-access programs to offer underserved students the tools needed to thrive in school and beyond."
2K is also acquiring HB Studios, the Canadian developer of last year's PGA Tour 2K21, pending regulatory approval.
It sounds like all of this has been on the cards for a while, as the following statement from Woods is dated to January, before the golfer's recent serious car accident:
"I am looking forward to making my return to the video game landscape, and with 2K and HB Studios, I've found the right partners to make it happen," Woods said. "I'm honoured to take part in this opportunity and look forward to sharing my expertise and insights as we build the future of golf video games together."
"In golf, there is no bigger icon than Tiger Woods," 2K boss David Ismailer added. "Like the rest of the world, we were saddened to hear of his recent accident, and we wish him a full and smooth recovery. We have been eager to announce our partnership with Tiger, whose legendary career has transcended the sport. We are thrilled to have him join our PGA Tour 2K series as an executive director."
A decade ago, Tiger Woods was the face of the successful PGA Tour series back when it was developed and published by EA. 16 games were released as "Tiger Woods PGA Tour" with him on the cover, until Woods' career waned and his private life repeatedly hit the headlines.
By 2011, EA seemed to have grown tired of the golf star - initially giving him "the benefit of the doubt" for PGA Tour 13 before ultimately dropping him in favour of Rory McIlroy. Alas, without Woods on the cover and in the title, "Rory McIlroy PGA Tour" was the first and only game to star Woods' replacement before EA gave up on the series and the brand took a prolonged break.
Last year, 2K revived the franchise for the first full game in a decade. HB Studios was tapped as developer after seeing success with its own The Golf Club series - and the end product has clearly done the numbers for 2K, with 2m units sold so far. Sounds like there may be a PGA Tour 2K22, then?