Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 (opens in new tab) came out in 2015, but I won’t hold it against you if you’ve successfully blocked the memory out of your mind. It was a lazy half-remake riddled with bugs and baffling controls, and apparently the final nail in the coffin for the once beloved skating game franchise from Activision.
That’s because Hawk himself (opens in new tab) recently revealed that he’s “amicably” cut ties with Activision after their contract ended in 2015, with current indicators of a renewed working partnership.
The professional skateboarder announced the news on Twitter in response to fans repeatedly asking him about Pro Skater remasters, explaining that he’d personally be more than ready and willing to make them if he possessed “the skills/authority to reboot servers or code games for newer systems.”
To anyone asking me to 'remaster" old games, or complaining about THPS servers being down: Activision owns the THPS license but I am no longer working with them. If I had the skills / authority to reboot servers or code games for newer systems on my own, I would be happy to...February 26, 2018
Sadly, he’s not quite as adept at game development as he as at gnarly BS 180 heelflips, and Activision apparently isn’t interested in helping him out. That’s strange, given that there’s a clear appetite for new skating games amongst a sizeable audience.
Just look at the whoppingly successful Kickstarter campaign for Session (opens in new tab); an in-the-works indie skateboarding sim that promises to be a spiritual successor to Skate 3 - although we're still waiting for Skate 4 (opens in new tab)...
To be clear, there doesn’t seem to be any bad blood between Hawk and Activision, and the former says he is “forever grateful” for his working relationship with the latter. It’s just, despite his expressed desire to keep making games, Activision owns the Pro Skater IP, and that’s that for now.
To clear up a few things about THPS: I worked closely with Neversoft on our series to provide ideas & authenticity (without writing code), & I am forever grateful to Activision for 2 decades of support; my contract with them ended amicably in 2015. And THANK YOU to all the fans!February 28, 2018
Does this mark the unceremonious end of Tony Hawk video games for good? Well, curiously, Hawk told the website Jenkem (opens in new tab) last year that he was “potentially working on something”, though the details of which remain under secrecy for now.
More hopeful news comes via RageSquid (opens in new tab), the publishers behind hit motorbike PC game Descenders, which has recently expressed interest in working with Hawk for a new skateboarding experience, should he be up for it.
Mike Rose (opens in new tab), founder of RageSquid, penned a mini, open letter to Hawk explaining that the Descenders developers “plan to tackle skateboarding next” and they’d love to bring him on board. Interesting…
If any more news arrives for now, it’ll be via Hawk’s upcoming documentary, Pretending I'm a Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story, which is scheduled to come out sometime next year. The Birdman may still fly again yet.