The EA Skate Game Series titles have tasted success from the very first day of their launch and all eyes are looking for the next EA Skate title that might come up. Codenamed EA Skate 4, the actual existence of this game in development is being speculated upon and it seems that we have to wait EA be releasing the fourth game in the EA Skate game series.
While there are many fans eagerly anticipating the next installment of EA’s Skate Game series, namely Skate 4, it is highly unlikely that it will be released anytime soon – if at all. This is at least, is the opinion of EA boss John Riccitiello. Declining sales in the series, and a general consumer shift away from games that feature skateboarding in general, have been cited as the reasons for shelving the Skate Game sequel.
John Riccitiello said in an interview with Kotaku in December 2010, that the gaming industry has seen a huge surge in popularity in the skating and music genres, but that the popularity is only there for a limited time period. According to him, both skating games and Guitar Hero / Rock Band type games, have had their run of success for now.
This does not rule out the possibility of new music or skating games in the future – it all depends on the market interest and changes in technology. The Skate Game series has been very successful, with the first installment outselling rival Activisions Tony Hawk: Proving Ground by a ratio of 2:1 in 2007. The game was developed for the XBox 360 and the Sony PS3.
EA Skate games focused on accuracy, and the mechanics behind pulling off stunts and tricks, rather than story lines, upgrades and unlocks – that detracted from the Tony Hawk Skate Games. All tricks were unlocked and available from the beginning of the game, so players concentrated on just learning all the tricks they could, rather than grinding through levels to unlock them.
The second skate game in the series, Skate 2, was released in 2008. While the first one was regarded as innovative and heading in a new direction, the sequel was criticized for adding a story line that many described as ‘silly’, and for not adding much new content to the original. EA decided to do a third installment, due to good sales figures for Skate 2.
Skate 3 was released in May of 2010, and while it got good reviews, and was quite a polished game, it did not do well enough in sales to justify the immediate development of a sequel. The core of the series, namely the fine controls and accuracy needed to pull of tricks, was ‘dumbed down’ to allow the majority of casual gamers to enjoy the skate game. This alienated the hard core gamer following to the series, and it was not as well received as its predecessors.
In a similar move, Activision decided to cancel any plans for a Tony Hawk Skate Game sequel, for the same reasons EA is stopping development of future Skate games. Part of the reason for Activision’s poor sales figures, is the fact that the latest Tony Hawk skate games were bundled with controllers that players actually stood on, to perform the in-game actions. This pushed up the price of the skate games, and made it less attractive to casual gamers.
EA CEO Tony Riccitiello also stated (2010) that music and skate games have a limited sustainability as a series, in comparison to sports titles such as FIFA, NHL and the Grand Prix racing games. Other sporting games date quickly, since the real-world rosters change every year, but the same basic gameplay and core design is acceptable as a periodic re-release.
Rumors about EA Skate 4 ….today
Even though there has been no official announcement from EA, and the statements from Tony Riccitiello from 2010, the rumor mills are working overnight to get us the latest on EA Skate 4. Out of all the rumors we have heard till date, the most interesting ones indicate at the obvious reasons why EA could launch a new Skate (4) game. The biggest reason behind this is, that the first two skate games has been a highly profitable for EA, with all the Skate titles getting them nice, hefty shares in this gaming domain. Starting from EA Skate 1, the success and collections from the Skate titles have gone up with time and for me the EA Skate 1 and Skate 2 is regarded as one of the best skateboarding titles that have been made for consoles till date. …OK Skate 3 is a great game title too, but in Skate 3 the game loose too much realness for me. And because of not good sales of Skate 3, EA sadly dont´t release a new Skate 4 game for now. But in order to maintain their position in this genre, it is evident that EA would have to come up with Skate 4 by time. Further, it is obvious that there would be another EA Skate title when the right time come, is no other skateboarding title in the market, with Tony Hawk Pro Skater series getting scrapped. We will see what the new Tony Hawk´s Pro Skater HD brings for us (the only new skate game we have for now). So I hope by time EA will make a new Skate game for us skate phreakz!
Expectations from Skate 4
Since the entire concept of EA Skate production has changed from a regular, annual affair to a more spread out fashion, it is expected that the Skate 4 title could be a great improvement over the EA Skate 3. These expectations are based on some clear cut examples that are present for console titles. Taking the example of GTA series, the games in GTA had a huge gap between releases, particularly when GTA 4 was due. However, this huge gap meant that the developers were working hard and it was evident in the overall experience that was provided by GTA 4. The same is being expected from Skate 4, and this is definitely going to be hard for EA Games. Since the last version of the EA Skate games, Skate 3, had no good sales. The developers behind Skate 4 should make sure that the successful aspects of Skate 3 are improved and the cons of the game are weeded out. In my opinion they should make the new skate game such as realistic as possible. I read that the Skate 1 and 2 title had much more success as the skate 3 game, and the reason of this I think is because this first two skate games was more realistic than Skate 3. I read a lot that people don´t like skate 3 because its unrealistic skillz. I daresay the main customers are the real skaters and they (we :D) want realness. So this is going to be a big task, EA is known for great games and I hopefully think they focus what we fans want in a new skate game.
EA Skate 4 Trailer
Like every other EA Skate enthusiast, I have been hunting around for the latest news on Skate 4 since a long time. But there is nothing out there. Any news or Skate 4 trailers that come about would definitely be shared with you, so keep watching this space for more updates on Skate 4!