Tony Hawk’s Designer Explains Why We Don’t See More Skateboarding Games

If there’s one thing we’ve seen a shortage of over the past few years, it’s skateboarding games. At one time, they were all the rage, riding high on the success of Activision’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. But these days, we’re lucky to get anything even resembling that.

While the crowd-funded Session is on the way, there isn’t much talk on the skateboarding front aside from that – and a designer behind the Tony Hawk series seems to have a pretty good idea why.

Chris Rausch, who worked as a designer for Neversoft Entertainment for several years – working on several Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games in the process – recently spoke with Game Brain about how he got started with the franchise, as well as his thoughts on EA’s Skate series, which has garnered a good audience of its own.

But as for why we don’t see these types of games anymore, especially after the failure of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, Rausch summed it up pretty simply.

“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 (Tony Hawk) 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.”

It’ll be interesting to see how Session fares whenever it does surface. For now, though, you’re better off just hunting down other games in the genre.

You can watch the full interview above.