Sales of Tiger Woods Fall Sharply

Posted July 15th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Last month it was UFC 2010 Undisputed that came in with an unprecedented 59% year-over-year sales drop for the first month. In June it was the Tiger Woods franchise that experienced a huge sales decline, though the reasoning behind the decrease for both games would be completely different. While we don’t have the exact sales number Tiger Woods 11 (Wii) did not chart in the top 10 while last year it placed fourth with 272K. Going by the numbers that have been released for the games in the top 10 that means the Wii version of Tiger is down in the range of 40-50%.

From the beginning of the scandal on through EA Sports’ ultimate decision to keep Tiger Woods as the front-man for the franchise I felt the damage to his reputation would be severe enough that it would affect sales. Where it seemed likely to hurt most would be with the Wii which presents a heavily family-friendly user base. Unfortunately for EA the Wii is by far the highest selling platform for the Tiger franchise.

When the cover of Tiger Woods 11 was first released it raised eyebrows leading many to wonder if EA Sports was easing in Rory McIlroy and now it would not be shocking to see him become the face of the franchise. Introducing him on 11’s cover, where clearly the intent was to keep options open for a potential transition, allowed them to avoid a change as obvious as ripping Tiger off the cover right in the midst of the scandal. So the strong possibility remains that we could see a change to a more generic title along the lines of “EA Sports PGA Tour” or a new face to emerge going forward with McIlroy positioned as one of the obvious candidates.

  • Rory was added only because of Ryder Cup. He has no marketability here in the states IMO. It would be better for EA to go with someone we can relate to like Fowler, Kim, Mickelson, etc.

  • subreyes94

    I think it has to do with economics and other circumstances more than the scandal. Tiger 10 had wii-motion plus (one of the few to include it as a bonus pack from Motionplus inception) and that I think was the huge selling point with Tiger 10. I think Tiger 11 drops have more to do with no real changes in the game from 10 to 11, a significant decline in golf viewership (caused more by Tiger's injury than infidelity), and the promise of kinect and PS3's doodad in the fall. Bundle Kinect with Tiger 11 and see how sales skyrocket. Infidelity is a red herring of sports marketability-not a factor. Kobe and Jordan are “shining examples” of that.

  • Geemy

    Not smart on EAs part. They paid a bunch of money to Tiger for the right to sell a lot less copies. Ouch.

  • Sidewinder57

    We're not going to know if Tiger can ever build his image back until he wins another Major. I think that would make EA's decision a lot easier in regards to what they should do in the future. The last thing you want to do is drop a guy who in two years may well be the most popular golfer in the world again.

  • Amen Ra

    Yo PAsta you know you my boy right?!??!

    Don't feed into the egos of these morally high cowards, bible thumpers, and other religous zealots. It's not the fact that Tiger Woods cheated on his wife that hurt sales, it's the fact that not many people care about golf when Tiger is not doing good. Had Tiger came back kicking ass, the sales would have still been the shit. It's his overall piss poor play that caused the game to plummet. Also like subreyes said, economics is a big factor too. Game sales are down period. EA wasn't pushing golf like in the past and in conjunction with general apathy towards the sport, no one is checking for this shit. Despite what the media and message board chumps tell you, America is not a nation full of people hating a man for cheating on his wife. Ask Bill Clinton.. WE just don't cheer for losers and that's what Tiger has been since his return.

  • Amen Ra

    Exactly!!! When/If he starts winning again, watch the haters jump back on his tip. Nothing but opportunists kicking a man while he's down at the moment. These are the same cats who will be begging for an interview on the return.

  • Chris

    Next, on the who didn't see that coming news channel….

  • Now that Tiger has lost his capacity to sell a product, I wouldn't be surprised if this title goes to a every two year release.

  • baconfanatic

    we have failed tiger woods, I didn't buy 11, since I already had 10, but Madden 08 is still better

  • Foozballs

    What about Backbreaker sales?

  • Practically non-existent. They are too low to ever find out exactly how many they sold.

  • Foozballs

    wow….that should be a story in itself too, no?

  • Foozballs

    sucks if thats true and there isnt a BB2. i wouldve liked to see where they took it.

  • According to (who are pretty reliable):

    PS3 Backbreaker Sales Total: 22,432
    360 Backbreaker Sales Total: 33,010

    Compare those five-week sales to the five-week point sales for All-Pro Football 2K8:

    PS3 All-Pro Sales Total: 35,879
    360 All-Pro Sales Total: 106,998

    Remember, of course, that All-Pro Football 2K8 on PS3 ran at only 30 frames-per-second compared to 60 FPS on the 360, which contributed to poor sales on the platform. Backbreaker has no such technical deficiencies–indeed, its technology is one of the selling points–yet sales are still not as high.

    The team has stated that Backbreaker 2 will be developed, but the sales numbers definitely make it difficult to justify the expense. It should be interesting to see what ends up happening.

  • For the sake of comparison–and to illustrate just how much of the football market is tied into EA Sports offerings–here are the five-week sales numbers for NCAA Football 10 and Madden NFL 10:

    PS3: 300,011
    360: 454,643

    PS3: 702,626
    360: 993,144

    It is definitely a daunting task for other game developers to get into a genre which is already dominated by a few titles. Even 2K Sports, who are so often regarded as the makers of the “last great football game” in NFL 2K5, could not sell enough copies of All-Pro Football 2K8 to justify making new games in that series.

  • I don't know if it was just me but I haven't seen any advertising for Tiger 11. I didn't even know it was out until I saw it on the shelf when I went to get NCAA Football 11 at midnight

  • KrodMandoon

    Yep. What alot of people were waiting for was for the guy to mess up so they could pile on. Anyway,once he starts winning again everything will go back to what it was

  • KrodMandoon

    Yeah,if they're gonna go with anybody it should be Mickelson. Or if they got to get some sort of International thing going,go with a Ernie Els or a Collin Montgomerie

    • Anonymous

      Colin Montgomery?!?!?!?!?! WTF are you smoking. The man who cant win on American soil. The man who refers to american golf fans negatively, The man who isn’t even a factor on his own tour any more. Let me correct you on your obvious blunder. Sergio Garcia, Camillo Villegas, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood Vijay Singh even but NOT MONTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Amen Ra

    Backbreaker was straight gimmick garbage. they tried too hard to be different. they should have just a regular football game exactly like Madden, and added in their Euphoria engine and customizable teams. Instead they changed up the camera angles and everything else. I can't believe people jumped on that bandwagon. Then again “Hope” is a powerful drug….

  • My decision to not by Tiger for the first time in 4 years has nothing to do with the scandal. It has to do with the stale gameplay and lack of graphical upgrades. Gameplay is solid, no doubt, but not much different from last year — and the courses and player models are so dull. EA really needs a new graphics engine for this game to shoot some life into the game.

  • daley7199

    First of all lets just get this out in the open. I hardly think that the Tiger scandal has anything to do with the sales of a video game. Having said that, the Tiger Woods Series Suffers from a lack of any real innovation and people are begining to realize how much each years game is exactly the same.

    Also factor in that they charge 9.99 for each downloadable courses, many which were included in the game in previous years. EA has been incredibly greedy with this franchise and I believe that the audience for this game is catching on and moving on to something else. Golf is a fringe sport and there is no real necessity to update this title every year. All the golfers are the same each year and it doesn't really matter what courses you have.

    As far as easing Rory McIlroy onto the cover, I have to balk at that. He is an incredible talent but on that note he is European and I really don't think EA wants to put a European on the cover of their golf game. Its a Ryder Cup year and the Addition of the Hottest European player, who many consider to be the next #1, is a smart move and also serves to Ease the Tiger situation in addition to driving the addition of the new gameplay mode: The Ryder Cup.

  • daley7199

    Totally Agree. For a game that only has to animate one character on the screen, you would think they could do a much better job with the animations. The courses have been getting better and better looking each year but the golfers look like junk. Also the commentary is some of the worst commentary in any sports game. Now I am a huge golf fan and watch on TV as well as play the game and I understand that golf commentary is subdued but the TW series is horrible. Its way too repetitive and boring.

    The galleries in this game are still too sparse and really don't inject any life into the tournaments. This series really needs to anti up and bring it. Also they need to infuse a better broadcast presentation to the sport. They need alot more camera angles when depicting ball flight on shots.

    They need to get rid of the arcadey crap in this game too. When you play a tournament and all the single round scores are -22,-23,-24, that should tell you your game is arcadey. Now I know they have the Pro mode but that is rather to hard for a video game. I think they need to find a happy medium between the arcade and pro modes so that the scores are legit.

  • daley7199

    To me backbreaker was nothing more than an audition for Madden. They needed to demonstrate how the Euphoria engine could be used in the sports game landscape. We have seen that engine in action in games like GTA4 and Starwars Force Unleashed, but we have yet to see it in practicle application in the realm of sports gaming.

    By an large I think backbreaker successfully demonstrated how good the player models perform in this engine and I wouldn't be surprised to see it incorporated into Madden in the near future. Locomotion is a small step in the right direction but it is in no means “real time physics”. Even the Madden team said that it would be difficult to use having 22 players on the field at one time but Natural Motion just proved it could be done, so now the Madden Team really has no excuse. They have to license this engine for Madden.

  • daley7199

    Yes Brian, but don't forget that PS3 Madden that year also ran at 30FPS.

  • daley7199

    That is why its so difficult for EA to regain the public Trust when it comes to Basketball. EA has tarnished its image in this sport and now its an uphill climb on Mt Everest to try to overtake 2k.

    Lets get one thing straight. The overtaking of the NBA2k series is by no means a 1 or 2 year endeavor. NBA Live 09 was the start and NBA Live10 further closed the gap, and I have No doubts that NBA Elite 11 will also further close the gap. I think EA is going to have to demonstrate this kind of progress over the next couple of seasons in order to regain the public trust and to win back some of its old fans again. I don't think it will be as easy a win as it was for the NHL series which obliterated 2k in only 2 seasons. Having said that I totally think its a battle that can be won. EA has far more resources than 2k and we all know what EA can do when they decide to bring it. Depending on your age, we all grew up on EA sports and we have come to be alot more harsh on them for it. We expect more from them and rightfully so and when we don't get it we lash out and let them know about it. This is why EA is so easily villafied in the industry much like Microsoft is in the PC world. When you are on top people expect more from you. If and when EA decides to get off their collective asses and start giving us the games we deserve they will start to see the fanbase return in droves. They did it in the NHL series, They did it in football if only by default (no competition) and when the baseball licesnse expires they will have a shot at baseball again. They already have done it in soccer, so it really only leaves basketball as the lone dissappointment.

  • daley7199

    cmon RA, Its the American Way. You know that. Americans love scandal and drama. People have been salavating over trying to catch the “perfect Mr Woods” in something. Tigers only crime was that he tried to sell to the World that he was this perfect person, Champion, Family man etc. That is why he is getting hammered.

    Hell every man secretly applauds Tiger for having mad game but it is just too fun to rail on him to pass that up. Look at John Daly. He is a train wreck, but he didn't try to fool the people into believing he was some upstanding pillar of the community and that is why EVERYONE loves big John. He keeps it real, He doesnt run away from his mistakes, He's not afraid to talk about said mistakes. He is Real in every conceivable way and that is why he is still loved every where he goes. He is just one of US. T

  • daley7199

    While I won't totally disagree with you, I would have to see the age demographics for the people who play this game. I highly doubt that many of the people who play tiger are actually golfers themselves let alone actually watch the sport. I am 44 and I do all three. I actually know the game the players and what not and I can say that for me, none of what you said holds water. I bought 11 mainly because money is never an option for me and I traditionally pick up all my favorite sports titles year in and year out.

    What I will say is this. For people who money is an option for, the Tiger series has flatlined. this game has done nothing significant in may years and many of my friends who choose not to buy this game site this very reason. The game is really the same every year and an added factor is asking 10$ for each D/L course. Many believe that they should have included these courses in the game in the first place especially since many of the courses are from previous years games.

  • daley7199

    Short, Sweet, and to the point. Agreed. But if they put that just Bieber looking Fowler on the cover I think i will pass on the game. We don't need some cutie pie metrosexual dude on the cover of a sports game. AK or Phil would be good. Quite Frankly they need to just use a different golfer each year just like the other sports.

  • True enough; let's consider the sales for Madden NFL 08:

    PS3 Five-Week Sales: 384,559
    360 Five-Week Sales: 1,043,390

    Would seem that the PS3's deficiencies didn't keep many more people from buying it compared to All-Pro Football 2K8.

    My point in saying that about the FPS was to illustrate that more people bought “inferior” games at 30 FPS in Madden NFL 08 and All-Pro Football 2K8 than people have bought a game with superior technology and physics like Backbreaker.

  • The issue with calling Backbreaker an “audition” for EA Sports is that NaturalMotion have maintained all along that they wanted to make their own franchise and EA Sports historically has wanted to control the animation technology used in their games. If EA Sports truly believed that Euphoria was worth the money they would need to spend to exclusively license it, then I think they would've done so by now. All indications point to them feeling as though the cost would not be justified, however.

    As far as Backbreaker “proving” anything about real-time physics, I think that they proved that they can have good collision physics but the game still uses animation-based technology for passing, catching, etc…; it is far from a “complete” physics package. This is why there are videos on YouTube showing catch morphing and player arms passing through each other, just like what is criticized from EA Sports football games.

    I still wonder what would happen if Backbreaker had major differentiation between the players on the field. The game plays solid enough from a game engine standpoint with 22 players who are essentially indistinguishable from one another, but what if the NaturalMotion team had to make each player look like an individual as they are in Madden? I don't think it's any coincidence that you can't fully control replays in 360° in Backbreaker; the game was built for a particular camera, and the game engine seems to be limited to that view.

    At the end of the day, I get headaches caused by motion sickness due to the camera shaking used in Backbreaker, so I can't engage the game in any sort of serious form unless the team decides to change camera angles in the future; based on what I've heard from time spent on the Backbreaker forums, it seems as though other camera angles are not yet being considered for the Backbreaker patch or for Backbreaker 2 in the future.

  • Not really. I don't think anyone expected it to sell to begin with. Since we don't have actual numbers, it would all be speculation (whether it sold well enough that they'd consider a sequel).

  • And therein lies the problem. Because of Tiger's transgressions, they couldn't push him (and the game) in the same way.

  • You're giving the Wii userbase way too much credit if you think they care about innovation.

  • Keith.

    Hey Pasta, it looks like TW11 sales are even worse than you thought. According to this link, none of the different versions of TW11 even made the TOP 20 list for the month of June. That's pathetic.

  • Amen Ra

    True Indeed

  • daley7199

    Did you mean this comment for me because it doesn't make any sense with anything I said.

  • daley7199

    If it is meant for me I would respond with: I don't consider Wii gamers to be real gamers in the first place. The Wii is a novelty act and despite its sales record its based largely upon its cheap price and the novelty of the motion control. None of this has any bearing on the fact that Golf is a fringe sport and that the TW series has been flat for some time now. The franchise just doesn't put the effort into it that it should. They basically think that all they need to do is add a few new courses and change the lighting and we the fans will flock to it like moths to a flame. Well that was true 5 years ago but not now. The game has been exposed and quite frankly there is no need to buy this title on a yearly basis though I did. I can't even get any of my friends to buy it for the simple fact that they tell me “I have TW 10 why do I need 11. Its not that much different.”

    Its probably why Hot Shots golf doesn't release a game every year. They propably understand that golf is a fringe sport and that a yearly release will just turn off the fan base.

  • philly

    Would giving the series a facelift FINALLY bring Phil Mickelson to the game? Gah how long must we play a golf game without him?

  • daley7199

    and if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brookly to sell you…….LOL

  • daley7199

    Tiger hasn't sold this product in years. People aren't buying this game anymore because Tiger is on the cover. People place way too much stock in Cover Boys. I never understood why 2k used to use the same athlete on its covers for so long. Every year should be a different athlete base upon performance, popularity, and the general marketing theme of the game (Ex Ray Lewis on Madden) First defensive player on the cover to signify there improved defensive game play for that year.

  • daley7199

    Winning cures everything. Its the staple of the American Sports Landscape. As long as you are a winner we will forgive you of all your past transgressions. Though I will say that its been a long road back for Kobe and he still isn't getting the commercial endorsements like he once did so maybe Tiger wont either. People forgive but they don't forget and Marketers know this too.

  • Foozballs

    If they wanted to sell their engine to EA…they lost all leverage by releasing a game and selling 50k units. If EA offered $10, they should probably take it at this point.