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Hawk: If you're not COD it's super tricky out there

Skate legend admits "the skate genre is almost nonexistent."

Skateboarder and game developer Tony Hawk has shared his thoughts on the narrow nature of today's market, and about the state of skate games.

"When our game was hitting really hard there were roughly 10-15 top games that were go-tos. Now there are only three or four that are the standard," he told IGN.

"If you're not a first-person shooter at this point you're kind of struggling. If you're not Call of Duty, you're not Halo, it's super tricky out there."

Hawk was promoting his new digital titles, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, but admitted that in the current market "the skate genre is almost nonexistent."

Not that he was planning to lay down his skateboard and developer hat just yet.

"[In a few years] I would love to still be here and take advantage of new consoles as they come," Hawk said, "including Wii-U and whatever else they have in the pipe."

Hawk spoke about the new game and the battle with Activision to get the game created in more detail in a recent interview with GamesIndustry International.

"To be honest, Josh (Tsui, president of Robomodo) and I pushed Activision to do it repeatedly until we laid it out that this can happen, in this timeframe, for this cost. It was a long battle," he said.

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Latest comments (5)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 9 years ago
"Skateboarder and game developer Tony Hawk"
"Not that he was planning to lay down his skateboard and developer hat just yet."

Is he actually a game developer himself, or is it just that he attached his name to a very successful series of games?

"If you're not a first-person shooter at this point you're kind of struggling."
"Now there are only three or four that are the standard"

I disagree. What about Assassin's Creed or Batman? Uncharted and Gears? FIFA, Madden, PGA or Forza? Or Red Dead Redemption, GTA and most other big sequels from Rockstar? Skyrim and Fallout? Some of these sequels may not be annual so they're not quite cash cows in the same sense as COD, but they're still massive sellers and you can guarantee that they'll sell millions of copies.

I'd say it's more like if a game does not have a huge marketing budget then it's unlikely to make a splash. There's also the other aspect to consider that while some genres' popularity is perennial, some enjoy success in waves. For instance, after a long time in the wilderness the fighting genre seems to be enjoying a renaissance in the last couple of years with SF4, Mortal Kombat et al. Then on the other hand you've got the extreme sports and arcade racer genres falling from favour and not really getting big sales figures any more, whereas both were huge in the PS2 era.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 17th April 2012 11:38am

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
Maybe people got tired of virtual skateboarding. Maybe a few duds in a row have turned people off to virtual skateboarding.

Rather than blame the market on why their games no longer sell, try blaming your product or stale genre.

Develop a fun product. And fun doesn't have a linear price tag (e.g. a $50 million budget doesn't equate to more fun than a $10 million budget). Market the product adequately (show people enjoying your product. I know you ad people love to make artsy advertisements [I'm staring at you, Sony] but you are selling fun, not art). Find a good launch slot to release the game (if you are thinking Oct-Dec, slap yourself repeatedly until some other month enters your brain). Engage the gaming community to generate viral buzz. It's easy and cheap.

And finally, how much of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series budget goes toward licensing the Tony Hawk name? $3 million? Why not drop the licensing and use $1 million of more marketing, save $1 million and give a $1 million bonus to all you hard working employees (who will in turn work even harder to make damn sure you have a fun product)?
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 9 years ago
Thanks for that Jim. I've got tired of listening to what is becoming regular winging from Hawk.

"Try blaming your product or stale genre"... indeed. 13 year old gameplay shouldn't sell well, especially if aren't a genius at evolving your design by increments or recontextualising it like Nintendo.
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Show all comments (5)
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 9 years ago
Tony, Tony, Tony. Too many not so hot games from too many publishers year after year makes a genre "played out" as the kids say. Skate games went away before, as have other genres and sub-genres. When it's time for them to come back, they'll do so.

Granted, some other long-running franchises need to take a rest for a bit and come back with fresh ideas, but try telling that to the folks who buy into them year after year just because stuff blows up real good and they can jump around and shoot each other in the head for endless hours.

Eh, whatever.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises9 years ago
Why don't they make a version of Tony Hawk for Kinect or the Wii Fit board?
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