Augusta National is kind of a big deal in the world of golf. Like a racing game without Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca or a military shooter without a Kalashnikov assault rifle, something’s just missing if a golf game doesn’t have Augusta National.
That, unfortunately, is just the situation EA Sports Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is in right now.
It’s been a few years since we had a golf game, so fans are understandably excited to jump back into their favorite courses. A delay pushed the game past its usual release window, which is right alongside the Masters Golf Tournament. The game’s already in a tight spot, so the absence of one of the biggest courses hits hard. The cause, according to a tweet from EA Sports, is one of licensing:
@RebelGamer180 Unfortunately our license with Augusta National has expired. However, we'll continue to explore opportunities to include it.
— EA SPORTS PGA TOUR (@EASPORTSGOLF) April 6, 2015
If that’s the case, I’d imagine the team might’ve even had the course built already before licensing got in the way.
A later tweet added that the course could come out as post-launch downloadable content. This is a solid idea, and something that worked very well for Forza Motorsport 5. Turn 10 released legendary tracks like Nürburgring and the Long Beach Circuit after the fact as free downloads. Cars cost extra, but all of the tracks that came out were free, ensuring that any online play would be unrestricted by differences in tracks. If EA Sports goes this route and adds Augusta National and other courses, it could turn out to be a boon rather than a tough break.
EA Sports Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is currently set to release sometime in June.