Activision could be taking careful, calculated steps to freshen up the Tony Hawk franchise with a new initiative.
A Monday USA Today article said Activision is looking to put some spark back into the Neversoft-developed Tony Hawk skateboarding franchise, which has remained a reliable source of revenue for Activision but has grown long in the tooth since its late-90s debut.
Activision SVP Will Kassoy told the paper that the initiative to reinvent the franchise is dubbed the "Tony Hawk Innovation Plan," but the exec didn't expand on any details.
An Activision rep was also quiet about the plan in a Monday e-mail to Next Gen, saying the San Mateo, Calif.-based publisher had nothing else to add to Kassoy's statements.
The most recent Tony Hawk game release, October's Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, received "mixed or average" game reviews, garnering a 72 percent overall from critics.
Ziff Davis's 1Up.com gave the game the harshest review with a 5.5/10, calling the game "...unpolished, unfocused and proves nothing more than the now undeniable fact that the series needs a serious makeover and a lengthy vacation." Those on the other end of the spectrum called it the best skating game available and a fine reinvention of the franchise.
EA released new competitor Skate in September, developed by EA Black Box, which garnered average reviews of 86 percent and achieved strong sales on new consoles.
Tony Hawk games have sold 30 million units in the past decade, according to the NPD Group.