The last few years haven't been kind to fans of the over-the-top insanity of the original Tony Hawk: Pro Skater games, most recently having seen the domination of the simulation-over-spectacle Skate 3 from EA, and the less than impressive Tony Hawk: Ride and Tony Hawk: Shred. But fans of the series have a reason to get excited once again, as Hawk revealed in a recent interview that the next Tony Hawk project is being planned as we speak, with an expected release of somewhere in 2012.
The man is no stranger to letting a new game out of the bag, but the fact that a new title is already in the works may come as somewhat of a surprise to those paying attention to sales numbers. There's no question that the series' best days are in the past, but the skateboard-peripheral that welcomed fans into the age of Tony Hawk: Ride was certainly not what many had expected.
The fact that the follow-up by Robomodo Shred didn't even sell 3,000 copies in its launch week seemed to signal the end for the series.
So when Hawk was asked by PixelatedGeek about the future of the series bearing his name, he hinted that creating the next installment isn't as simple as it once was:
"We're actually right in the middle of making a whole new plan right now... We're going to do something probably for next year, but I can't give too much away, but definitely we're going to make new games, yes."
The fact that the last game failed to resonate with fans in such an obvious way can't be lost on Hawk himself, so it's nice to hear that a new direction is being considered. The decision is somewhat of a no-brainer, but with the decreased emphasis on peripherals made possible by the Microsoft Kinect, the developers have plenty of ideas to explore.
An embracing of motion controls may not be the right thing to get the fan base back on board, but trial and error is really the only way to be sure. It's unknown whether Activision will still be publishing any future Tony Hawk titles, but if that is the case, they have more than enough successful properties to take a bit of a risk.
Come to think of it, both DJ Hero and Guitar Hero franchises were shut down by the publisher, only to receive new life through DLC. So those who think that falling sales automatically mean an end to profitability might want to bite their tongues.
Do you think there is still untapped potential in the Tony Hawk series, or has the property run its course already? Let us know in the comments.
The new entry in the Tony Hawk series is apparently likely to arrive sometime in 2012, but we'll keep you posted on any updates.
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