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35 Things You Didn’t Know About Tony Hawk Pro Skater

35 Things You Didn’t Know About Tony Hawk Pro Skater

35 Things You Didn’t Know About Tony Hawk Pro Skater
35 Things You Didn’t Know About Tony Hawk Pro Skater

Not many people are familiar with Tony Hawk. But if you’re used to a racing skateboarding game, then you should be familiar with Tony Hawk Pro Skater. “Activision” signed Tony Hawk as the face of the skateboarding game “Tony Hawk Pro Skater” Over the years, Hawk has been involved in the development of the game. Hawk, along with other skaters featured in the game, was animated for the game using motion capture and voiced his character. “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 and Pro Skater 3” are critically ranked among the best games released for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 respectively. Now let’s get started with briefing you more about Tony Hawk and the game series itself.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater is a skateboarding video game series published by Activision, and endorsed by the Tony Hawk. Originally, Hawk signed a licensing contract valid until 2002, which was renewed until 2015, following the success of the Pro Skater series. The series was primarily developed for by Neversoft from launch to 2007, until Activision transferred the franchise to Robomodo in 2008, who developed the franchise until 2015 when Activision and Hawk’s license expired, leaving the future of the series uncertain. In 2020, the series returned under Activision with an original two games in the series, with development handled by Vicarious Visions. The series has spawned a total of 17 games.

Also, the inclusion of the game on the Jampack Demo for the PlayStation generated further hype, as players were overwhelmed by the at the time unique gameplay. The huge success of the game prompted Neversoft to vastly expand its production staff in order to be able to release Tony Hawk’s games on a yearly basis. Neversoft held true to that ambition and released Pro Skater 2 and Pro Skater 3 in 2000 and 2001. Both games retained mostly the same gameplay as their predecessor, along with some improvements. The two games were the most critically acclaimed games for their respective consoles and still rank among the highest-rated games of all time. Now read further below to know about Tony Hawk Pro Skater.

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35 Things You Didn’t Know About Tony Hawk Pro Skater
35 Things You Didn’t Know About Tony Hawk Pro Skater

Key Facts about Tony Hawk Pro Skater

We’re going to be telling you everything that happened in the development of Tony Hawk Pro Skater, dating from 1999 till date:

  • Do you know that when the game was first developed by a 12-person team, Tony Hawk was added as the face of the franchise?
  • A month before the release of Tony Hawk Pro Skater for PlayStation in 1999, Hawk successfully performed a 900 at that year’s X Games, which resulted in huge press coverage of the sport and helped boost sales of the title.
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2x, a compilation of the first two games was released for Xbox in 2001, as the console had not featured the previous entries before.
  • Pro Skater 4 was released in 2002, by which time the franchise was among the best-selling video game franchises in the world, and the employees working on the game rose from 12 for the first entry to 150, and there were significantly more skaters featured, who all received considerable royalties.
  • With the 2003 release of the fifth entry in the series, “Underground,” the developers used storytelling and exploration to distance their product from the plotless, task-based format of previous Tony Hawk’s games, which led Neversoft president Joel Jewett to describe Underground as an adventure game.
  • Levels in the console versions of Underground were significantly larger than those of earlier Tony Hawk’s games.
  • Neversoft then expanded each level until it ceased to run correctly, and then shrunk it slightly.
  • However, these missions were intended not to take away from the main experience of skateboarding. Because Pro Skater 4 had received criticism for its difficulty, Neversoft added four difficulty settings to Underground’s story mode.
  • Tony Hawk’s Underground 2, released a year after its predecessor, was the only direct sequel in the series.
  • While it still featured a story mode, it took a stark departure from Underground and focused on a “World Destruction Tour” orchestrated by Tony Hawk and Bam Margera.
  • In 2005, American Wasteland was released on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Xbox 360 and later on PC.
  • The game’s story mode is set in the city of Los Angeles, where the player character is trying to renovate a run-down skatepark.
  • While the game was advertised with featuring one huge comprehensive open world in story mode, the game’s world actually comprised several levels, resembling different areas in Los Angeles which were connected through-loading tunnels to make them appear consecutive.
  • The promise of an open world skateboarding game was fulfilled with the next entry in the series, Project 8, released in late 2006. While the PS2 and Xbox versions did not feature said open world, the seventh generation of video game consoles, such as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 could support larger content.
  • Unlike in previous entries, the classic model was embedded in the different areas of the open world. The game did not appear on Nintendo’s then-new Wii console, which instead saw the release of the then-exclusive spin-off game “Downhill Jam,” a downhill racing game featuring a mostly fictitious cast.
  • The game was also released on PS2 half a year later.
  • The next title in the main series, 2007’s “Proving Ground” featured a largely similar concept to Project 8, with an open world and the player able to choose three career paths as a skater. 
  • The game was the first and only entry of the series to compete with rival skateboarding series Skate, which also featured an open world but with more advanced controls and a less arcade-style approach. 
  • Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. were established as the three open-world areas, with each containing three skateable areas, which also featured an integrated classic mode.
  • The control of the Tony Hawk’s franchise had passed on to Chicago studio Robomodo by 2008.
  • Still, in 2008, Activision decided to reboot the series with the new developer Robomodo, so as to combat product fatigue and be able to compete with rival EA’s Skate series. Due to this, no new entry in the main series was released.
  • In 2009, Robomodo released their first entry in the series, “Tony Hawk: Ride,” which relied on a peripheral-supported controller shaped like a skateboard.
  • The game did not rely on a plot or an open world any longer and featured a completely different control system, with the player railing down a predetermined route, trying to use the skateboard controller to perform tricks on predetermined obstacles.
  • Despite the game’s poor reception, a sequel called “Shred” was released a year later.
  • The game used the same mechanics and concept as its predecessor and reintroduced snowboarding while aiming at a younger audience.
  • Just like its predecessor, the game was a critical and commercial failure, selling merely 3000 copies in its first week of release in the US.
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD” was released in the summer of 2012 via download only and featured a collection of popular levels from Pro Skater 1-3. Critical reception towards the game was mixed, as while critics felt that it captured the appeal of the original games, the content was described as sparse, while the game was said to not deliver updated gameplay mechanics and feel dated.
  • In 2014, the endless runner “Shred Session” was launched for mobile devices in a handful of territories but was later pulled from the market, postponed indefinitely and later shelved.
  • After having only produced spin-offs and ports since inheriting the franchise in 2008, Activision announced in mid-2015 that a traditional entry in the series developed by Robomodo would release for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One later that year.
  • When licensing deal between Activision and Tony Hawk was set to expire by the end of 2015, the game was hastily developed within a few months and released unfinished with little promotion.
  • In January 2017, Hawk stated in an interview that he is in early talks to continue the franchise without Activision and that he was interested in using virtual reality for his next game.
  • In November 2007, Hawk stated that while he would agree to support the future instalments under the Pro Skater moniker, Activision owned all rights to the license and thus controlled whether future games would be made.
  • On December 3, 2018, Hawk announced the first game bearing his name not to be published by Activision. The game is called “Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam,” and was released for iOS and Android on December 13, ten days after his announcement.
  • On May 12, 2020, it was announced that Vicarious Visions would be remastering the first two Pro Skater titles for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2” and would be released on September 4, 2020, once again published by Activision.
  • All levels and skaters from the original games would be kept in the premaster, and improvements to the skater and park creation tools will be added to allow these to be shared online in multiplayer modes. Due to music licensing, some of the tracks from the original games will not be available in the remastered version.

Now that’s all we have for you on Tony Hawk Pro Skater! Hope you were properly updated? You can leave your comment in the box below.

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