Tony Hawk mobile game confirmed, but can the series grind out a hit? [updated]

tony hawk series set return form activision confirms hawks pro skater hd

UPDATE: It looks like the upcoming Tony Hawk game that Activision recently confirmed is coming exclusively to mobile platforms. “We’re working on a game for mobile devices this year,” Hawk told Bloomberg in a recent interview. “We’ve never gone exclusively in that direction so I’m excited because, with the amount of time people are spending on their phones and their tablets playing games, we’ve never had our own game in that space. So I’m excited to provide one finally.”

ORIGINAL POST: Activision’s Tony Hawk-branded skateboarding series will soon try to kickflip back into your heart. The Hawkster himself first let the news slip in a SiriusXM radio appearance spotted by IGN. “We are working on a game, it’s pretty cool,” he said on his own program, Demolition Radio. A co-host then followed up with a comment that likely referenced a need to wear a motion capture suit during development.

Activision hadn’t formally announced anything prior to Hawk’s radio comments, but a company spokesperson told IGN that the pro skater’s words are correct. “Activision can confirm that they have something in the works with Tony Hawk, more info is coming soon,” the spokesperson said.

officerdickschool2flip

The Tony Hawk series has been quiet since Chicago-based studio Robomodo delivered an HD remake of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in 2012. The game was a bit of a mess, albeit a pretty one. The high-def remastering and revived soundtrack unfortunately weren’t enough to make up for wretched and occasionally broken controls, arguably the heart of any Tony Hawk game.

Robomodo’s remake was preceded by a trio of unusual titles that attempted to reinvent the series. Tony Hawk: Ride and Tony Hawk: Shred, both developed by Robomodo and released for PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 in 2009 and 2010, respectively, shipped with a hefty, wheel-less skateboard-like controller meant for players to stand on. The two games proved to be unpopular for a variety of reasons, though mostly because the faux skateboard was frustrating to use. Controls were also the issue in 2008’s Nintendo DS exclusive, Tony Hawk Motion, from Creat Studios, though there was no silly peripheral for that one.

The last properly new Tony Hawk release, as most gamers know the series, came in 2007 with Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground. It was the last in the series to have the Activision-owned studio and series creator Neversoft in the lead development role, for PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game. Reviews skewed in a more positive direction than the subsequent Creat and Robomodo offerings, but the common refrain among critics was the the series was suffering from a serious case of feature bloat. It got to the point that the original vision for the series – wish-fulfillment skateboarding that laughs in the face of physics – felt buried. The fatigue that Proving Ground‘s release highlighted is likely what prompted Activision to try something new with the releases that followed.

The series first launched in 1999 with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, released for the Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, and PSone (then just PlayStation) consoles. Neversoft led the development of that first entry, along with every major release that followed it, up through Proving Ground. There have been 13 releases in the series overall; 17 if you count the three substantially altered ports (Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2X, Tony Hawk’s Underground 2: Remix, and Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land) and the HD remake.

As far as what’s next for the series goes, it’s hard to say. It seems unlikely that Activision would turn to Robomodo once again, given the studio’s three strikes already with RideShred, and the HD remake. Neversoft is a possibility, though that’s also one of the many Activision studios assigned to help keep the annual Call of Duty juggernaut moving. More than that, Neversoft’s career page suggests that the team there is busy with an unannounced first-person shooter (though that could simply be staffing for new Extinction content in Call of Duty: Ghosts).

One other possibility is High Moon Studios. The Activision-owned development house is best-known for its work on the War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron Transformers games. That’s why eyebrows raised recently when the publisher announced that the next release in the series – Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark – would be coming from a third-party, Loadout developer Edge of Reality. Why would Activision pull a popular franchise away from a studio that’s seen success with it, then hand it off as a contract job? Perhaps High Moon is working on an even more high-profile Activision franchise, one that the publisher wants developed with great care.

The only hint of what High Moon is up to comes from an Activision job posting tagged as “urgent” that seeks a Senior Texture Artist for the Carlsbad, California-based studio. The unnamed project is “a high-profile franchised title,” according to the posting, and there’s an emphasis in the job requirements on an ability to create photo-realistic environments. However, the posting also mentions that the game is “action-packed” – not quite the right descriptor for Tony Hawk – and that extra consideration will be given to candidates with knowledge of the Radiant Engine, the level design middleware for games powered by id Tech engines (which none of the Hawk games have been built on).

This is all just idle speculation, of course. Until Activision confirms something, it’s all we can do to keep busy. What do you want from your next Tony Hawk game? Are you even interested in a new one at this point? How do you think the franchise ought to reinvent itself, given what we’ve seen in the past?

Gaming

Skateboarding legend says ‘Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam’ will appeal to his fans

Tony Hawk's Skate Jam is now available for free on iOS and Android devices, and Digital Trends had the chance to talk to the legendary skater about its development and how it captures the magic of his best games.
Gaming

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.
Gaming

PlayStation Classic hacked in less than a week to play games via USB drive

Hackers have already managed to crack the PlayStation Classic, with programs now available to allow users to play additional original PlayStation games on the system via a USB drive.
Gaming

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Gaming

Trash at 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Use this guide to train up and get good

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest game in the entire series, and it can be overwhelming for newcomers not used to the universe-colliding fighting game. Here's what you need to know when you're starting.
Gaming

Where we droppin’ (presents)? Perfect ‘Fortnite’ gifts for the fans in your life

Chances are someone on your holiday shopping list is a fan of Fortnite. As the most popular game on the planet, there are plenty of Fortnite-themed gift options available for purchase in stores and online. Here are the best ones we found.
Gaming

Sega Genesis classics now playable on Amazon Fire TV, no retro console required

Sega released the SEGA Classics app for Amazon Fire TV devices, allowing gamers to play Sega Genesis classics without having to buy a retro console. The $15 app contains 25 games, including three remastered Sonic titles.
Gaming

Have a spooky dance party at an abandoned mansion with Fortnite's new challenges

The Fortnite season 7, week 2 challenges have arrived in Battle Royale. From searching for chests to dancing off at an abandoned mansion, here's how to do them and the rewards you get for completing them.
Deals

The Super NES Classic is the perfect holiday gift for Nintendo lovers

Whether you're a long-time Nintendo fan looking to relive the 16-bit glory days or just doing some holiday shopping, the SNES Classic -- now in stock at multiple retailers for $80 -- might just be the perfect Christmas gift for gamers of…
Computing

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.
Gaming

Nintendo pulls the plug on making more SNES Classic, NES Classic systems

Nintendo extended production of the NES Classic and SNES Classic into 2018, but once the current supply of consoles is gone, the company won't be making more. Instead, you'll have to use Nintendo Switch Online.
Gaming

Fancy ‘Kingdom Hearts III’ PlayStation 4 Pro launches alongside game in January

A limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle for Kingdom Hearts III will launch alongside the game in January. The system included has a special design on the side, as does the controller.
Gaming

Want to share your Xbox One games? Here's how to do it

Sharing games on modern consoles is possible, but it takes a few steps. Here's how to start sharing games on your Xbox One console, so friends and family can easily access your library.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.