Electronic Arts is dipping its toes further into the emerging web-based gaming model with Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online
, a 3D golf sim streamed directly to gamers' web browsers.
By beginning to break into the web-gaming market, EA is making sure that all of its bases are covered, from its foundation of physical distribution to digital downloads to subscriptions, and now to streaming online gaming.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online
will launch in the fall, and requires no disc, installation or extra peripherals, and only requires a web browser and an internet connection. EA is promising "high resolution 3D graphics," lots of features and regular updates.
At launch, the game will include a number of real-life courses, including Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass and St. Andrews. EA will regularly add new courses. There will also be community features and events such as tournaments, multiplayer and a pro shop.
EA stressed that the game is meant to be played either in short bursts or for long periods. The game allows players to quit, then reload from that exact point at any given time of return.
In the same vein as Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online
is Battlefield Heroes
, a free-to-play web-based game from Battlefield
and Mirror's Edge
developer DICE, which is continuing to develop the title.
By releasing games via web browsers, EA and other companies operating in the online arena essentially circumvent piracy concerns brought on by the distribution and inevitable copying of physical discs. EA did not say where revenues will come from for Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online
, although many web-based games rely on a combination of advertising and virtual item sales.
Such a model opens up new opportunities for EA in piracy-ridden regions such as Asia, where the company has already released online-only games to some success.
EA is currently accepting applications for the game's online beta program at the official website.