Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD 'probably' won't include original soundtrack

By Andrew Yoon, Dec 13, 2011 5:00pm PST

If Tony Hawk's newer games can't get fans excited, perhaps it's time to go back to what made them so popular? Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is an upgraded remix of the first two Tony Hawk games. While the gameplay and tracks should remain largely intact from the PSone originals, one thing is unlikely to survive the transition: the soundtrack.

Activision's Dan Amrich explains that the HD re-release "probably" won't have the original soundtrack, for a myriad of reasons.

Writing on One of Swords, Amrich explains that THPS HD is "not a straight reissue; it's neither THPS1 or THPS2, but a new game based on the levels and gameplay from both of those games." Because it's two games and not one, it's not really appropriate to demand the "original" soundtrack for the game.

Of course, the more thorny issue is licensing. "Music licensing is a one-time deal," he explained. "The songs from the original games were only licensed for those specific games on those specific platforms at that specific time. Any other versions created later would need new licensing deals." While Activision could certainly attempt to re-license the original tracks, Amrich notes that "from a legal/licensing standpoint, they are back to square one."

It appears that Activision is unlikely to go after all those original songs. A new soundtrack, updated for the modern era, seems like an inevitability--and Amrich argues that's not necessarily a bad thing. "The THPS series was famous helping break new bands on its soundtracks; the reason a lot of these songs are such a strong part of people’s memories — beyond sheer repetition during gameplay! — is that THPS is the game that introduced you to that song or that artist."

If, for some reason, Activision decides to exclusively license Ke$ha and Justin Bieber tunes for the entirety of the game, Amrich does offer a solution: "Create a playlist and play the old songs while you play the new game."

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