Activision Not Ready to Give Up on Tony Hawk

By Garnett Lee, Dec 08, 2010 3:00pm PST Activision CEO of publishing Eric Hirshberg still believes in the star power of Tony Hawk. "He is a lasting icon. He has that Michael Jordan-ish or Jordan-esque staying power," said the Activision exec. This vote of confidence came in an excerpt from a larger interview Industry Gamers plans to run in the near future.

Hirshberg attributed the recent struggles of the Tony Hawk games to technical problems in Tony Hawk: Ride resulting from its innovation with the board peripheral. And on the slow start for the recently released Shred, he said that the jury is still out, "because we are marketing it to kids, and it makes a great gift, and the gift-giving season has already begun."

Whether or not sales of Shred make a comeback, Hirshberg does seem aware that the formula in these past two games isn't clicking to the expected degree. "I think we have to ask all the smart questions and make some smart moves in terms of innovation to see if we can recapture people's imaginations," he said. After the post-launch layoffs at Robomodo, it seems likely that part of that process involves handing the franchise over to a new creative team.

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  • Do you really expect Activision to acknowledge their, "Milk 'em till they're dead" scheme of moneymaking is a very flawed plan? That if a company had their success (ie., basically one title carrying them year after year) rate minus Blizzard that the CEO would be replaced?

    Of course not. Tony Hawk is an example of what the fate of every annually milked franchise is. It is already happening to Guitar Hero, too. In time, it'll wind its way around to Call of Duty, too. This is especially true now that IW is no longer keeping the series semi-honest. Remember, half of BO was made during the time the real IW was still with the company.

    Watch the franchise spiral into a deathspin now that the safety barriers are gone and the series goes completely off the rails...



  • I'd buy a Pro Skater 5 in a heartbeat. Take it back to the basics: no awkward mission/story stuff, no stopping to talk to NPCs, no gimmick tricks that you'll only use when absolutely necessary to complete an objective; just give me a skate park, a timer, and a list of goals, and I'm good.

    But truthfully, I'd probably even keep buying the bizarre open-world kitchen-sink Tony Hawk games if they'd keep making them. Even with my love for the series flagging since Underground 2, it wasn't until the peripheral-based titles that I lost interest completely.