As the development studio behind Electronic Arts' seminal Madden NFL
franchise, there is little question as to the important role Florida based EA Tiburon plays in the company's well being. Now, according to online reports by both the Orlando Sentinel
and St. Petersburg Times
, Electronic Arts has thrown added support behind the studio as well, moving the company's highly regarded Tiger Woods PGA Tour
franchise from EA's Redwood Shores Studio to EA Tiburon going forward.
"It makes sense for us to have the franchise here," offered EA Tiburon's general manager Steve Chiang to the Sentinel. "Florida is a hotbed of golf, NCAA and NFL football, and the PGA's headquarters is in Ponte Vedra. Of course, one of Tiger's homes is here, too."
Tiburon is already responsible for several of EA's annual franchises, including the aforementioned Madden NFL
, as well as NCAA Football
. In addition, the studio was also responsible for the video game adaptation of the summer blockbuster Superman Returns
The move to bring the professional golf series under the watchful eye of EA Tiburon could mean a significant turn for the series, which most recently was developed by multiple studios including not only Redwood Shores but also EA's recently acquired
Utah-based Headgate Studios as well.
According to the St. Petersburg Times report, future next-gen iterations of the franchise will feature a focus on user generated content and “be more interactive in nature.” Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08
is currently expected to ship this summer for multiple platforms.
The move also signals continued growth as well for the studio, which last year added 140 individuals to its ranks, and according to the Times report plans to hire an additional 100 workers in 2007.
"They represent the highest form of opportunities for the metro Orlando area and the corridor," said Randy Berridge, president of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, to the St. Petersburg Times. "The idea that you have a company that represents the largest producer in the video gaming industry sends a signal to the entire region.”