Tony Hawk and Activision have been paired together almost as long as peanut butter and jelly. The original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater released in 1999, and since then Activision has released four numbered sequels and countless spin-off games. The future of the franchise was already in doubt following the extremely poor reception of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, but now it has lost one of its biggest assets: Tony Hawk himself.
Writing on Twitter, Tony Hawk revealed that he is no longer working with Activision, and thus has no involvement in the games’ current development — this means he has no input on which should get a remastered release, and since Activision still owns the license to the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, it’s in the publisher’s hands alone.
Hawk also agreed with a fan who said it would be strange to “not own the rights to something with your name on it,” which could be seen as a comment on the last few games’ poor quality.
Back in November, Hawk stated that his contract was up with Activision but he was still willing to partner with the company on future games. That seems increasingly unlikely, given the silence from Activision following the most recent game’s launch.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 released in 2015 to negative reviews, with critics taking issue with the cel-shaded graphics, bizarre “Slam” feature, bugs, and bad controls. The servers have already been taken offline, rendering much of it unplayable.
Prior to the release of Pro Skater 5, Activision released two games using a plastic skateboard controller, Tony Hawk: Ride and Tony Hawk: Shred. The latter game has a horrendous opening week in the United States, only managing to sell 3,000 copies. It released at a time when plastic peripherals were on the decline, and it had to compete with Electronic Arts’ acclaimed skating game Skate 3. While Tony Hawk games continued to experiment with new controls schemes and gameplay styles, the Skate series stuck to no-nonsense skating, attracting fans of the older Pro Skater titles.
Though Tony Hawk turns 50 in May, he’s still skating regularly. Back in 2016, he managed to land a 900 — a trick he first accomplished during the X-Games 17 years earlier.