When the PGA Tour 2K23 starts in October this year, the HB Studios team may have to make difficult decisions regarding its composition. LIV Golf and the PGA Tour have been embroiled in fierce off-field drama since LIV Golf debuted in 2022. The conflict may spill over to video golf games and affect players, but the PGA Tour 2K23 will most likely not be affected at launch.
LIV Golf has financial support from the Saudi Arabian State Investment Fund and has lured many famous names from the PGA Tour with huge subscription bonuses and large tournament prize funds, as well as a shorter schedule. For example, Phil Mickelson was allegedly offered $200 million to join LIV Golf, and his comments explaining this decision caused controversy. The PGA Tour Commissioner reacted to the new competition by banning LIV Golf professionals from participating in PGA events, which leaves many questions about how this will affect the PGA Tour 2K23 and EA Sports PGA Tour lineups.
How LIV Golf can affect the composition of the PGA Tour 2K23
HB Studios managed to avoid any difficult decisions regarding the PGA Tour 2K23 roster at launch because none of the professionals included in the original roster signed a contract with LIV Golf. This does not mean that something will change, since, apparently, more customers are moving to LIV Golf every month. Some of them were big names, for example, the winner of the Players Championship 2022 Cameron Smith just signed a contract with LIV Golf. The biggest question for the PGA Tour 2K23 is whether it will remove anyone currently on their roster who will sign with LIV Golf in the future. It is reported that the most recognizable name in golf and the athlete from the cover of the PGA Tour 2K22 Tiger Woods declined an offer to join LIV Golf in the amount of $ 700 to $ 800 million earlier this year. The current PGA Tour 2K23 roster consists of:
Tiger Woods Justin Thomas Xander Schaffle Tony Finau Lexi Thompson Lydia Ko Brooke Henderson Wall Zatoris Jon Rahm Colleen Morikawa Rickie Fowler Justin Rose
Most of them have been fierce supporters of the PGA Tour since the controversy began. LIV Golf also doesn’t currently include women’s events, so professionals like Lexi Thompson and Lydia Ko may not be leaving anytime soon, which is good considering both the PGA Tour 2K23 and EA Sports PGA Tour have added women’s golf to this latest edition. However, HB Studios and EA should have a plan if the professional featured in their game leaves the PGA Tour for an opponent.
PGA 2K23 Plan in case a Golfer Joins LIV Golf
Earlier this month, a PGA Tour 2K23 representative told GameSpot that he has no plans to remove professionals from the list. “Given the changing landscape of professional golf and the timing of the game’s development, some players who were once active on the PGA Tour will remain in the game,” they said. The promise of stability in the PGA Tour 2K23 is a positive for a franchise that will compete with some of the most anticipated sports games of the year.
However, both HB Studios and EA must decide what to do with any DLC golfers who may leave the PGA Tour. 2K Sports has indicated that there will be extensions for the 2K23 PGA Tour, and while HB Studios has yet to share details on what those extensions look like, it’s possible they’re waiting as long as possible to respond to the LIV Golf signers. EA Sports’ PGA Tour release date in spring 2023 means they won’t have to commit to anything yet in terms of roster, but PGA Tour 2K23 will make decisions earlier if any talent leaves the organization.
The release of PGA Tour 2K23 is scheduled for October 14 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.