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Skater XL interview: The re-rise of skateboarding games

Shacknews recently got to check out Skater XL and we spoke to Easy Day's Dan Hedgpeth about why skateboarding games may be on the way back.

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Easy Day Studios may not be the most recognized of indie studios, but the gaming audience will likely appreciate one of their most recent efforts. Skater XL has been on a mission to bring skateboarding games back to prominence. And while it's just starting to plant its foot on PC, it's also looking to make its mark on consoles. Shacknews recently caught up with the crew at Easy Day Studios at the ID@Xbox event, just prior to this year's PAX West, to talk about the studio's lofty goals with their skating title.

"Right now is skateboarding's comeback, in general," Easy Day's Dan Hedgpeth told Shacknews. "Skateboarding is going to be in the Olympics next year. The whole industry is on an uptick right now. There's this kind of cycle that happens, so the interesting thing is, it's been ten years almost since the big skate franchises came out with a game. The industry changed. The economics just don't work with big publishers. But what happened was, the technology platforms, with Unity and Unreal being so accessible now, the tools are available for developers to just craft the product and not have to build their own graphics engine or any of the underlying technology. So we can just work on crafting a game. A small passionate team of developers can make something really great that represents this sport that is the biggest action sport in the world."

Hedgpeth goes into some of the game's various mechanics, along with all of the tricks that players can expect to pull off over the course of their sessions. He also goes into how players can craft their own distinct skating style, largely because of how players work with the game's movement system to craft their own tricks. He also dives into Skater XL's replay features and other quality of life features that make the game stand out from skating games of the past.

Skater XL is set to launch on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in 2020, but if you're interested in trying it out now, it's available right now on Steam Early Access. If you want to learn more about Skater XL, Shacknews also recently went hands-on with the game at PAX West. Be sure to check out our hands-on preview. For more interviews like this one, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews and GamerHub.TV on YouTube.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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