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Skate 4: Will We Ever Get A Sequel?

In the '90s, it seems like the skateboard was viewed as the pinnacle of coolness, and every kid wanted one. Even those who didn't have the balance and dexterity to ride a skateboard still wanted to participate, leaving them two options: buy a fingerboard or purchase a skateboarding video game.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater wasn't the first skateboarding game (that honor lies with Atari's 720°), but it was the most popular title and catapulted the skateboarding genre into the limelight. More importantly, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater spawned countless sequels that eventually lost their luster and relevance. 

Other studios stepped up for a chance at the virtual skateboarding crown, and Electronic Art's Skate franchise was poised to be the successor many '90s kids sought. Then the company stopped developing Skate games after the third entry, leaving audiences desperate for Skate 4 permanently out in the cold.

However, the video game landscape has changed in the past decade. Developers and publishers have learned that gamers love to revisit their childhoods, either through remasters/remakes or spiritual successors. Even the Tony Hawk series is getting a second wind thanks to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2. But what about Skate? Will EA ever resurrect the franchise with Skate 4?

The creators of the Skate series are no longer at EA

The quality of a video game is primarily dependent on the team behind it. You can't produce an award winning game with one team, hand development of the sequel to another, and expect a stellar product. Granted, some exceptions exist, but they are the exceptions that prove the rule. The team that started a series is ideally the one to continue it. This is no longer possible for Skate.

The Skate series was developed by EA Black Box, formerly Black Box Games. The studio was responsible for much more than Skate, including numerous entries in EA's Need for Speed franchise. However, Black Box eventually found itself helping other EA studios instead of making its own games and closed in 2013. Thus, EA Black Box was added to the ever-growing list of studios that joined EA and were eventually shuttered due to publisher-mandated layoffs.

Since the team behind the Skate games no longer works at EA, it couldn't work on Skate 4 even if EA wanted to publish the game. While a different team could hypothetically develop Skate 4, the resulting experience would likely be different from the original.

EA would rather make a mobile game

EA owns the rights to the Skate franchise, and the company has a habit of chasing the mobile market rainbow to disastrous results. It published Dungeon Keeper Mobile (which was criticized for its microtransactions), The Simpson: All Tapped Out (which was criticized for its microtransactions), and Command & Conquer: Rivals (which was criticized for its microtransactions and for being a cash grab). And EA plans to give Skate 3 the same treatment instead of creating a bona fide sequel.

During an episode of The Nine Club — a YouTube talk show by skateboarders, for skateboarders — professional skateboarder Jason Dill claimed EA wanted him to help make a mobile version of Skate 3. Dill responded fairly negatively: "No one wants your stupid mobile version of Skate 3. Make Skate 'f*****g' 4 already." 

According to Dill, the person who contacted Dill from EA said that the company has no plans to make Skate 4, so Dill politely refused to take part in the mobile game's production. He also wished EA the best in producing "Need for Speed 29." Dill went on to state that he believes EA is doing themselves a big, shortsighted disservice by not making Skate 4. Given the number of people who tweeted about Skate 4 after the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 announcement, he's not alone in his sentiment.

The success of other skateboard games might change EA's mind

Electronic Arts tends to buy into its own hype. Former EA Games label president Frank Gibeau claimed single-player games were dead, so the company has primarily focused on online, multiplayer titles. Vice president of legal and government affairs Kerry Hopkins tried to defend loot boxes in front of the United Kingdom's Parliament by calling them "surprise mechanics" and stating "People like surprises." 

Though it has a reputation for refusing to budge on certain issues, EA has responded to significant pushbacks in the past. The company eventually removed loot boxes from Star Wars: Battlefront 2, and it also decided to remove online passes that punished players for buying used copies. In summation, EA might have made up its mind about Skate 4, but the company's opinion has been swayed before.

While the impetus for EA's decision to abandon the Skate franchise is a mystery, the company possibly got cold feet after seeing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5's chilly reception. If people didn't like the latest entry in the Tony Hawk's series, the franchise that started the video game skateboarding craze, then Skate 4 might not stand a chance. However, much has happened since Pro Skater 5 released. Skater XL and Session launched to positive reception, and the internet is waiting with bated breath for the release of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2.

Depending on the reception for the upcoming Tony Hawk game, EA might be convinced to pull a 180 and start development on Skate 4.