THE RETURN OF TONY HAWK

If you follow video games or “extreme” sports even remotely, you’ll have heard of a guy named Tony Hawk. He is probably the most iconic pro skateboarder to have ever lived. In the video game world, his name is on some of the most popular games since the turn of the century. Starting with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in 1999, his games have been well-received by skaters and non-skaters alike. Every year after that, Tony’s games were much anticipated and sold well. Other skateboarding games came along to challenge but they could not unseat the champion.

Things got interesting in 2006 and if you know a little bit about me, that was the year I joined Electronic Arts in making a different type of skateboarding game, a more realistic one compared to Tony’s over the top game play. skate was made to offer an attractive alternative to gamers looking for a more authentic skating experience. Many people thought we were foolish and crazy for trying to take on Tony. In fact, a lot of people even seemed angry we were even trying. When the news became public, there were some very negative comments. For example take a look at some of things they said about us here.

It took a ton of work, sweat, and tears but we released skate in late 2007. It went up against Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground. We did alright in terms of sales but the most interesting result was what happened in the months after the games came out. Activision announced that for the first time since Tony first came out with a game, there would be no yearly sequel to Proving Ground. One could argue we had something to do with that and if that were true, I hold a tiny bit of pride in me for that.

Since the two year break that was imposed, two Tony Hawk games have come out, both poorly received. Ride and Shred were not big sellers either causing Activision to again put the series on hold. When the Tony Hawk games started to falter, a large and vocal group of gamers kept asking for the older games to be redone but in high definition and on the current generation of consoles. Activision ignored these pleas for year but they finally seemed to have listened. Whether they just relented to that idea or they just ran out of fresh ideas, the newly remastered Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD will debut in 2012, the trailer of which you can see above.

I like comebacks and stories of renewal, so I honestly hope this will be a popular and well received game. It will keep skateboarding in the minds of gamers. There will be, however, no response from EA. Skateboarding games just don’t make enough money, at least the way EA was making them before. The skate team has been scattered to the wind. It will be a long, long time, if ever, that you’ll see a new skateboarding title from Electronic Arts. So it looks like that Tony Hawk will once again have his crown back.

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