Feature Interview PS4 Tony Hawk

Tony Hawk’s designer: ‘the suits decided people don’t want skateboarding games’

new tony hawk's pro skater game

Once working as a designer for Neversoft Entertainment on the first sixth entries in the Tony Hawk’s skateboarding series, Chris Rausch knows what makes a good skating game.

In an insightful interview with Game Brain, Chris has spoken about how he got started on the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise, and shares his opinion on the rival Skate IP from EA, as well as discussing the future of the genre.

The nail in the coffin for skateboarding games from the Tony Hawk stable came with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, which was released in 2015. It received scolding reviews for its poor physics, numerous buggies and laggy multiplayer – to name just a few of the many issues fans reported.

In the interview, Chris is asked what he thinks about the future of the Pro Skater franchise, but like many fans believes that Pro Skater 5 wrecked its chances moving forward.

“I think that the Tony Hawk 5 game really sealed the deal for a while, which is a bummer because you know there’s an audience out there,” he says. “It sold enough, it certainly sold better than Shred, but when I first heard about that game and I saw what it was and got a chance to check it out! At the time it was supposed to be a $20 download, and somewhere along the line later they decided we’re going to put it in a box and charge $50.

And that was another thing that really hurt the outlook for it and the reputation for it. People would have been more forgiving if it was a little cheaper, but I think it was one of those things where you know you have the audience, you know they want more and you just don’t give them something that’s worthy; and then all the suits decide, well people don’t want skateboarding games any more. Well, yes they do, they want a better one, one that’s a lot cooler.”

The good news is that while there may not be another Tony Hawk game under the Activision umbrella, the pro skater himself is said to be working on a new skateboarding game. “I’m potentially working on something, but it’s so early I couldn’t talk about it,” he said in an interview in January 2017.

Though it won’t be a game in Activision’s Pro Skater franchise, there’s still hope that another great skateboarding game will be made again. All is quiet on the EA front too. Since the release of Skate 3 in 2010, there’s been no word on a fourth game in the series.

  • Jason Fisher

    Your last game was absolute trash. More like gamers don’t want a new Tony Hawk game. I heard no one asking for the shitty one we got either. We’ve always been asking for a new Skate and still are.

  • John

    “the suits decided people don’t want skateboarding games”

    no they decided to stop letting you make games people stopped buying because you were making crap

  • Shane O’Shaughnessy

    Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 is one of my favorite games of all time. Port it to PS4 and I’ll throw money at you, but I don’t care about soulless, buggy new ones.

    • andrewsqual

      Tony Hawk 3. So awesome and the jump to 60fps was incredible. And what a soundtrack and levels and unlockables too. ^_^

  • NoME2WasNotAGoodGame

    Declining sales after each release. We can blame the suits for a lot of things, but not this. The suits didn’t decide people didn’t want them. The people didn’t want them and the suits stopped wasting money. That seems perfectly reasonable. Some of the older titles couldn’t even break a million. With Tony’s name on the box that game wasn’t cheap. I’d ditch the franchise too. I would have a lot sooner, actually.

  • andrewsqual

    Actually 4 was sort of the nail in the coffin for me. After Tony Hawk 4 and the direction it took with awkwardly unnecessary large levels, I was done. Never touched Underground or any future Tony Hawk games after that.

    But what a studio Neversoft was. They weren’t even a one trick pony. They did Spiderman games on PS1 back in the day, they were great. They ended out the PS2 gen with a western game Gun, it was great.
    They died when Activision tasked them with Guitar Hero games which were huge back when they started but then kept tasking them with making new ones until it died a horrid death along with the studio.